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Introducing the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform: extreme mobile computing experiences that deliver more than just a laptop [video]

The latest generation of Snapdragon 8cx debuts at Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021.

Dec 1, 2021

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Mobile computing is in the midst of a profound paradigm shift. Evolving digital lifestyles, where remote online collaborations and interactions are a fundamental part of our everyday lives, are creating the need for efficient, highly portable devices that connect anywhere. Thin, fanless laptops, with multi-day battery life for productivity and entertainment no matter where we are in the world, are pushing the boundaries for where and how we engage with our friends and family, our jobs, and our favorite shows, movies, and games — all on one device, right at our fingertips. Snapdragon compute platform advancements in connectivity, efficiency, and form factor are designed to meet these accelerating expectations.

Our Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform has powered this vision of premium mobile computing for two generations in Windows laptops. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 Compute Platform built on the success of the first generation by continuing to combine the best features of the smartphone — 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, advanced camera systems, AI acceleration, and support for multi-day battery life — with the superior performance of premium laptops.

Now, we’re taking the experience of Always On, Always Connected PCs even further for the premium tier by introducing the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 delivers extreme system-level performance, speed, and efficiency with support for multi-day battery life, AI-accelerated features, and lightning-fast 5G connectivity for truly mobile, light, and fanless Windows laptops.

Performance and efficiency are brought together in the world’s first 5nm Windows PC platform, enabling performance improvements of up to 85 percent from the previous generation and over 25 hours of battery life on a single charge*. This is combined with robust connectivity** features, including support for Snapdragon X55, Snapdragon X62, and our latest Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF System for up to 10 Gbps peak 5G throughput speeds. And Wi-Fi 6E and Windows 11 Dual Station support for wire-class responsiveness with Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 system means lightning-fast connections wherever you are. All this blends with advanced camera and audio features for crystal-clear video conferencing, an intelligent Qualcomm AI Engine for enhanced experiences, and chip-to-cloud enterprise-grade security for safe, highly secure connections and computing.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a tremendous upgrade for consumers, businesses, organizations, and industries looking for powerful, efficient devices that are lightweight, ultraportable, and secure. Here’s an in-depth look at a few core technologies in Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3:

Extreme performance and efficiency

The enhanced Qualcomm Kryo CPU combines high-performance cores for power when you need it and energy-efficient cores for less intensive tasks, delivering responsive performance and long-lasting battery life. Our efficiency cores now match the performance cores of the previous generation while significantly decreasing overall power draw. Along with the integration of new “Prime” performance cores, Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 delivers up to a 40 percent boost for single-thread workloads and 85 percent boost for multi-thread workloads compared to the predecessor. This improvement in performance per watt means getting work done faster, while saving plenty of room for entertainment and content consumption.

Graphics performance with the Qualcomm Adreno GPU has also made huge improvements, with up to 60 percent performance gains compared to the previous generation. That’s more power for video and photo editing applications, video conferencing, and gaming. Games can run at full HD resolution at up to 120 FPS, making Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 an entertainment powerhouse.

Advanced camera and audio

Increased remote meetings have highlighted the necessity for advanced camera and audio systems. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 addresses this need with cutting-edge image processing and sound quality for video conferencing and crystal-clear voice calls. The Qualcomm Spectra ISP enables incredible image quality in a laptop, with the latest 3A features (auto-focus, auto-white balance, and auto-exposure) alongside support for 4K HDR. With up to four cameras supported by the platform, new use cases like multiple front-facing cameras on detachable form factors emerge. Not only is the image quality incredible, but an improved camera startup time of as much as 15 percent compared to the previous generation lets you get to your video conferences faster and look great.

Audio is greatly enhanced for Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 with Echo Cancellation and Noise Suppression using advanced AI technologies. Distracting noises during an important video call can be eliminated with advanced noise suppression technology as part of the Qualcomm Voice Suite. While your dog, baby, or neighbor’s lawn crew may try to interrupt your conversation, advanced AI-accelerated algorithms make sure almost any environment is a quiet space for important conversations. While your dog is adorable, barking during your calls is not. Let the brilliance of your thoughts and ideas shine.

AI acceleration

AI plays an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives, and this is reflected in the amazing AI capabilities of Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. Many applications and features of this latest compute platform are enhanced and accelerated by AI processes, enabling features like Microsoft’s Eye Contact that makes it look like you’re looking directly into the camera for meetings and video conferences. Features like these also use significantly less power thanks to our efficient Qualcomm AI Engine.

In total, Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has more than three times the AI capabilities of the previous generation and significantly leads the competition with over 29 TOPS of acceleration. This translates to more accurate and innovative experiences, along with faster security features like threat detection. Our optimizations for performance and power efficiency means many of these experiences are simply not possible on competing platforms. AI is powering so many amazing achievements in modern computing, and Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 takes full advantage of this progress by driving AI performance and efficiency to new heights.

Robust connectivity

None of the features above would be possible without fast, reliable connections. Connectivity continues to be a defining technology for Snapdragon compute platforms, and Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 delivers breakthrough 5G and Wi-Fi capabilities to keep users connected virtually wherever they are. Starting with 5G, the Snapdragon X55 Modem-RF System enables reliable connections with speeds of up to 7.5 Gbps. Support will also be extended to the latest Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF System, enabling users the freedom to be productive from almost anywhere.

Fast, seamless Wi-Fi connectivity is also imperative for mobile computing, which is why we put the latest FastConnect 6900 technology in Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. This connectivity system supports the fastest Wi-Fi speeds available, with multi-gig speeds supported at up to 3.6 Gbps. FastConnect 6900 also makes use of 4-stream DBS to support Wi-Fi Dual Station for extremely low latency and responsiveness.  

Enhanced security

Increased connectivity requires heightened levels of security, especially for managed systems in business and enterprise applications. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 brings new features to help keep users protected every step of the way, from the chip to the cloud. A Secure Boot process enables NIST recovery, designed to better prevent systems from loading corrupt firmware, while Microsoft Pluton integration into the Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit reduces the surface area open to attacks. Secure Camera for Windows Hello, enhanced sensors, and cutting-edge encryption practices round out Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 as a truly security-rich platform for online collaboration for consumers, businesses, and education.     

Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Compute Platform

We’ve also added a new level in our entry-tier to complement the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Compute Platform. Introducing the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Compute Platform, delivering up to 40 percent better CPU performance and 35 percent better graphics performance compared to the predecessor with a 6nm architecture. Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 benefits from next-gen connectivity with FastConnect 6700, bringing incredible Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E speeds. And when trusted Wi-Fi networks are unavailable, you can stay connected with an integrated Snapdragon X53 Modem-RF System, making 5G available for the first time in one of our entry-level PC platforms with download speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps. The enhanced Qualcomm AI Engine can also enable the premium experiences you may only expect from upper-tier platforms.

The growth in cloud computing and intelligent edge devices makes Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 a compelling choice as a smart, fast, and sleek entry-level option enabling always-connected Chromebooks and Windows laptops. Incredible performance increases, advanced AI, reliable Wi-Fi 6E, and the lightning-fast speed of 5G redefine what you should expect in the entry-tier and put Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 into a new class.

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The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Compute Platforms show our continued commitment to driving the latest innovations in next-generation laptops at multiple tiers, delivering real choice to consumers, business, and education. Capabilities like 5G and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, intelligent AI, advanced camera and audio, and enhanced security are creating ecosystems of new and better ways for users to connect, compute, and communicate powerfully and efficiently.   

 

*Battery life varies significantly based on device, settings, usage, and other factors. **Always Connected PCs require network connectivity and compatible networks.
Snapdragon, Qualcomm Kryo, Qualcomm FastConnect, Qualcomm AI Engine, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm Spectra, Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit and Qualcomm Voice Suite are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

 

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Miguel Nunes

Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.