Qualcomm 8cx Computer Platform: Extreme Performance, Battery Life, and Connectivity

Qualcomm 8cx Computer Platform: Extreme Performance, Battery Life, and Connectivity

At this year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit in Maui, several major announcements have been made. They were just the tip of the iceberg, however. Today the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Computer Platform, the industry’s first 7 nanometer PC platform, has been revealed. It is clear that Qualcomm is ready to shape the next generation of “always on, always connected” computing.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Computer Platform was created from the ground up in order to usher in the next generation of personal computing. It delivers new features, even thinner and lighter designs, that will make new form factors possible in the always-on, always-connected devices.

The Snapdragon 8cx leverages many of the innovations we have previously highlighted. It has the new Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU, which is the most powerful GPU ever designed by the company. It doubles the memory interface from 64 bit to 128 bit wide in order to deliver greater performance than ever. It looks impressive on paper, but the real impact will be seen when it makes its appearance in devices, letting consumers enjoy an enhanced experience and cutting-edge graphics when creating and consuming content. That is expected to happen sometime in the third quarter of 2019 when the Snapdragon 8cx is expected to begin shipping in commercial devices.

Qualcomm 8cx Computer Platform: Extreme Performance, Battery Life, and Connectivity

Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile for Qualcomm Technologies is clearly excited about the new Snapdragon 8cx. As he put it,

With performance and battery life as our design tenets, we’re bringing 7nm innovations to the PC space, allowing for smartphone-like capabilities to transform the computing experience. As the fastest Snapdragon platform ever, the Snapdragon 8cx will allow our customers to offer a powerful computing experience of multi-day battery life and multi-gigabit connectivity, in new thin, light, and fanless design for consumers and the enterprise.

The Snapdragon 8cx Computer Platform features the new octa-core Qualcomm Kryo 495 CPU. This is the fastest Kryo CPU ever designed and built by the company. It has a larger cache than previous computer platforms, making faster multi-tasking and increased productivity possible. It will, the company says, “disrupt the performance expectations of current thin, light, and fanless PC designs.” A key benefit of the new platform is that it is able to increase performance while consuming a fraction of the power previously required. The result will be multi-day battery life and always-on connectivity. That is, of course, the holy grail of mobile computing, and with this new computing platform, it has finally arrived. “The product lasts for days.”

But there’s more.

The Snapdragon 8cx will have the first Windows 10 Enterprise certification ever in a Snapdragon platform. This will let IT managers reduce the complexity of managing today’s modern IT device environment while maintaining the security they require.

The Snapdragon 8cx also features Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology that delivers super-fast charging on the go. The combination of low power consumption and rapid charging is ideal for the professional on the go.

Qualcomm 8cx Computer Platform: Extreme Performance, Battery Life, and Connectivity

The Snapdragon 8cx also features Qualcomm’s Aqstic audio technology. This suite of technologies includes advanced audio codecs, smart power amplifiers and a suite of advanced audio and voice software technologies. The result is that PCs built on the Snapdragon 8cx platform will deliver high-definition Bluetooth wireless audio.

“For users looking to connect their Bluetooth wireless-enabled device to a Snapdragon 8cx PC, they can experience High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) audio thanks to the integration of Qualcomm aptX HD. By preserving sound data through the audio transmission, users can enjoy listening to music at the highest audible quality when using a wireless device.“

After years of computers offering mediocre audio, this will be a welcome change! The impact will not, however, be confined to audio consumption as it will also increase the access to, and performance of, voice assistants like Cortana and Alexa.

The Snapdragon 8cx also supports second generation USB 3.1 over Type C and third generation PCI-E. This means consumers will be able to connect up to two 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) monitors and near limitless peripherals. Yes, with this new computing platform the days of having to choose which peripheral devices to connect to your computer are gone. The computers will be smaller, lighter but more connected than ever.

Speaking of connectivity, a Snapdragon 8cx enabled device is a key part of the road to 5G. The Snapdragon 8cx features the Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem. It will extend the capabilities of Gigabit LTE thereby delivering faster-than-ever speeds.

As Qualcomm puts it, “Bringing new feature sets and possibilities in industrial design to the PC industry, the Snapdragon 8cx will power the next generation of thin, light and fanless always on, always connected PCs.”

In short, as the Snapdragon Technology Summit comes to an end Qualcomm is making clear that fact that they are not only ready for the next generation of mobile computing but they are poised to lead the way. I can’t wait to see the new devices built on the Snapdragon 8cx Computer Platform!

Qualcomm 8cx Computer Platform: Extreme Performance, Battery Life, and Connectivity

You can watch the Day 3 Keynote from the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit here.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.