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Leak: Qualcomm's answer to Apple M1 could pack nothing but performance cores

Who needs power-saving cores anyway?

Published onMarch 9, 2021

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx chipset 4
  • Details of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx successor have seemingly leaked.
  • The chip, being tested in two configs, could boast two banks of performance cores.

Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 8cx chipset in 2018, signaling its intent to join the Arm-based laptop race. Now, news of a full-blown successor has leaked.

Details garnered by WinFuture suggest that Qualcomm’s working on at least two variants of the chip series internally known as SC8280. Both will stick with Arm-based technology but each could offer different performance levels.

Notably, Qualcomm is reportedly set to ditch energy-saving cores on these chipsets, too. Instead of equipping the chipsets with performance and low-power cores, Qualcomm is reportedly going for all-out power. This means each CPU cluster would sport high-power cores clocked at different speeds.

Read more: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx finally bridges the gap between mobile and laptops

WinFuture suggests that the SC8280XP — seemingly the sprightlier of the two chipsets — will feature four high-end cores clocked at 2.43GHz as well as four “Gold+” series cores hitting 2.7GHz. Interestingly, some samples reportedly feature 3GHz clocks, too, so this figure might be adjustable to suit a device’s cooling capabilities and use case. Samples also feature displays up to 14 inches with RAM figures pushing 32GB. It suggests that Qualcomm is aiming for the high-performance ultrabook market.

An all-out performance-minded design would have a clear benefit for performance-critical workloads. However, it remains to be seen how it will affect the chip’s thermal management and power hunger. It would be a stark departure from the Snapdragon 8cx’s design but could be one that affords Qualcomm some bragging rights in the Arm-computing race.

Should Qualcomm ditch the low power cores from its 8cx successor?

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