Qualcomm has announced a new processor - the Snapdragon 850. The processor which is specifically designed for the Windows 10 Always Connected PCs will enhance performance, connectivity and battery life. The new Snapdragon 850 succeeds the Snapdragon 835 which was used in the first Always Connected PCs. It comes with ARM processors, integrated LTE, long battery life and an instant-on resume with no hibernation. Microsoft and Qualcomm are coming together to take on iPad Pro with these Always Connected PCs. The Snapdragon 850 is a customized version of the Snapdragon 845 which made its debut in flagship phones this year. The new processor claims to offer 30 per cent performance improvement, 20 per cent better battery life and 20 per cent faster peak gigabit data speeds than the Snapdragon 835. It must be noted that the Snapdragon 850 will be used exclusively in PCs. The new chipset is built on the same features as the 845 - same second-generation 10nm processor coupled with the same X20 modem for cellular connectivity. According to Qualcomm, in order to deliver better performance for PC activities, the Snapdragon 850 tunes both hardware and software.
The PC devices that will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 can be expected to be out by holiday season this year. Qualcomm has said it will have more partners that will have the Snapdragon 850 processor. The new processor will also feature in a Samsung device which will be announced later. The first Always Connected PCs with the Snapdragon 835 were out this spring and the chip was seen on Asus, HP, Lenovo etc.
Since Qualcomm doesn't make any Always Connected PC device for the customers to buy, it provides a reference platform for OEMs to base their computers on. To make PC makers' lives easy, it has also created front-end designs for the modem antennas.
The Snapdragon 850 will offer several exciting features like - high-fidelity support built-in, with Qualcomm Aqstic and aptX audio features. Virtual surround sound, native DSD format, high dynamic range, ultra-low THD+N and aptX HD support will also be provided by the Snapdragon 850. Both USB Type-C and 3.5mm jack will support the Aqstic support. The new processor is also said to offer better 4K video capture capabilities.The new Snapdragon 850 will enable developers to build AI features as it supports the Microsoft Machine Learning SDK. The Snapdragon 850, when combined with the Windows 10, will support a 64-bit version of the Microsoft Edge browser. The performance of the first round of Always Connected PCs was poor as it was worse than the traditional x86 Intel processors. There was limited number of apps and programs that would work. However, with the arrival of the new processor, one can expect better performance this time around.