After launching the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 for next-gen smartphones, Qualcomm has turned its focus on laptops and gaming devices.
The company announced two new silicons to power laptops and Chromebooks and another chipset for handheld gaming devices at the Snapdragon Summit 2021.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is designed for premium, ultra-slim fanless laptops, the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is designed for entry-level Windows laptops and Chromebooks, and the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 is for handheld gaming devices.
Qualcomm has also partnered with Razer and the companies have unveiled the first Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit as a reference design for developers and this is already available.
Devices powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 will launch in the first half of 2022.
Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
The new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, as Qualcomm claims, is the world’s first 5nm platform for Windows PCs and Chromebooks. This new chip can reportedly deliver an “up to 85 per cent generational performance uplift and up to 60 per cent better performance per watt over the competitive x86 platform”. And the company also said that the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has three times higher artificial intelligence (AI) performance over the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 that was announced in September last year.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has a Kryo CPU and a Qualcomm Adreno GPU and while Qualcomm has not given any details about the exact models, it claims that the new GPU helps this silicon support full-HD gaming with a 120fps frame rate and allows users to play for 50% longer than other competing platforms.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has Qualcomm’s Hexagon processor integrated along with the Qualcomm Sensing Hub for machine learning (ML) processes. There is also a new Qualcomm Spectra ISP that reportedly helps improve camera start-up time to help users start a video call 15 per cent faster than the older iteration.
There is also a new 3A solution on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 that offers auto white balance, autofocus, and auto exposure. The new chip has Qualcomm Noise and Echo Cancellation tech as well which makes video conferencing better. To enhance video calls further, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 supports up to 4K HDR camera quality and up to four camera sensors.
For connectivity, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System for 5G and offers up to 10Gbps of peak download speed. Manufacturers also have the option to pick the Snapdragon X55 or the Snapdragon X62 modems instead with this chip. There is Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth v5.1 support as well.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is enabled to support Microsoft Secured-core PCs along with a camera security framework with support for Windows Hello login and a dedicated Computer Vision processor for continuous authentication. The chip should reportedly be able to deliver up to over 25 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3
The Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is based on the 6nm process and is meant for entry-level Windows laptops and Chromebooks. This chip promises to deliver up to 60 per cent faster CPU performance and up to 70 per cent faster GPU performance as compared to the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 2.
This chip has the Qualcomm AI Engine that should reportedly deliver AI performance advancements of up to 6.5 TOPS (Tera Operations Per Second). There is also 5G connectivity with the integrated Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system.
Other connectivity options on the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 included FastConnect 6700 for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E with up to 2.9Gbps speeds and support for Bluetooth v5.2.
There is support for Windows 11 on the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 and an integrated Qualcomm Spectra ISP that can support up to three cameras with 22MP resolution or a single camera at 64MP. For video calls, there is 4K HDR video recording support.
Snapdragon G3x Gen 1
The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 is a chip designed specifically for gaming and is meant for hand-held gaming devices. It has an Adreno GPU that enables a 144fps frame rate and 10-bit HDR support and the Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. The chip has 5G support.
Since sound is an integral part of gaming, the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 has Snapdragon Sound tech that should help provide low-latency and high-quality audio output. It also supports AKSys for “precise touch using built-in controllers across different games”.
Along with all this, the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 has multi-screen support and can tether to an XR viewer via USB Type-C. Any device that’s powered by the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 can work as a companion controller to a 4K TV, as per reports.
Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit
The Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit uses the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 and should help developers create better gaming experiences. The device has a 6.65-inch OLED display with a Full-HD+ resolution, 10-bit HDR support, and a 120Hz refresh rate.
There is also a 5MP webcam and two mics, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E support, and four-way speakers with Snapdragon Sound tech.
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