Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 850, Explicitly Aimed at New PCs

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 850 is a processor built with laptops in mind

The Snapdragon 850 is Qualcomm's first chip built for Windows PCs

Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 850 processor, which will power the next generation of always-connected Windows 10 devices.

The Snapdragon 850 is said to provide a 30 percent increase in performance over the Snapdragon 835 despite being on the same process, using Kryo 385 CPU clocked up to 2.95GHz compared to the Kryo 280 CPU on the older SoC clocked up to 2.6GHz. At the event, Qualcomm also shared that Samsung would be the first to integrate the Snapdragon 850 into a future device.

Last year, Qualcomm and Microsoft introduced Windows 10 to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile PC platform to create "always connected" laptops with Gigabit LTE connectivity. This would result in multi-day battery life.

With the 850, which has been specifically built for Windows 10 devices and will not come to smartphones, Qualcomm is promising faster performance, higher data speeds and even longer battery life. The modem in the SD850 is the same X20 unit found in the now-smartphone-specific SD845 and promises peak download speeds of 1.2 Gbps on supporting 4G LTE networks.

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According to Miguel Nunes, Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm, Gigabit LTE connectivity and extended battery life are two major areas of value for today's consumers.

Qualcomm is leaning into the auxiliary features of the new chip with the launch, including the wide array of audio technology. AptX HD support means you can utilize supported wireless headphones and get above Bluetooth audio quality as well - something that Sebastian has tested and approved.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 also uses the upgraded audio and video codec features and include support for H.264 and HEVC 4K encode and decode for video playback services.

Though the AI market for Windows is still nascent, Qualcomm does support the Microsoft Machine Learning SDK and Windows ML with the AI Engine integration. Windows 10 devices powered by this processor are expected to be available in retail later this year.

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