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Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 850

The Snapdragon 850 has been designed for Always Connected Windows 10 PCs and Samsung has been confirmed as a customer.

Published onJune 4, 2018

  • Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 850 chip for use in Windows 10 Always Connected PCs.
  • The chip will bring extended battery life and LTE connectivity to Windows 10 devices.
  • Qualcomm confirmed Samsung as a customer.

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 850, a new processor designed for Always Connected Windows 10 PCs. These are PCs that use the company’s Snapdragon mobile chips and thus have smartphone-like features such as LTE-connectivity and extended battery life. Qualcomm confirmed Samsung as a customer, meaning we can expect an Always Connected PC from it in the future.

Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 850 will support 1.2 gigabits per second LTE connectivity speeds and up to 25 hours of continuous usage. This would result in multi-day battery life. By comparison, the first Snapdragon 835-powered laptops boast endurance of between 20 and 22 hours. The chip is said to support a performance improvement of 20 percent and 3X AI performance when compared to previous generations.

The chip is essentially a Snapdragon 845, the chip found in high-end Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S9, but beefed up slightly so it is suitable for use in PCs. The Snapdragon 850 will not be used in smartphones.

It’s unclear just how the chip has been upgraded but, given the more relaxed thermal/power constraints in laptops, an uptick in clock speed is expected, for one.

Nevertheless, the new chip has the same Kryo 385 cores as the Snapdragon 845, an Adreno 630 GPU, 10nm manufacturing process, and the company’s so-called AI Engine for on-device machine learning.

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Always Connected PCs powered by Snapdragon chips first saw a release earlier this year using the Snapdragon 835. Unlike the Snapdragon 850, many smartphones used this chip.

According to Qualcomm, Windows devices powered by the chip will be available later this year. While we know that Samsung will make a PC using the Snapdragon 850, it has also previously been rumored that both Microsoft and Dell have plans to release foldable smartphone/laptop hybrids powered by the chip.

Asus, Lenovo, and HP currently have Always Connected Windows 10 PCs on the market that use the existing Snapdragon 835 processor.

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