Qualcomm takes the fight to Intel with new 5nm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 ARM chip

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Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3Source: Qualcomm

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm has introduced two new SoCs for Always-On, Always-Connected PCs.
  • The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is the first 5nm compute platform for notebooks.
  • Qualcomm is also extending 5G across ecosystems with the mid-tier Snapdragon 7c Gen 3 platform.

Qualcomm has unveiled the world’s first 5nm chip designed for Windows PCs and Chromebooks at its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit. While the 5nm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is designed for premium devices, Qualcomm has also rolled out a new entry-tier compute platform with integrated 5G connectivity. The announcement comes just a day after the chipmaker introduced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is expected to power the best Android phones of 2022.

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip is built to deliver “breakthrough performance per watt,” enhanced AI-acceleration, multi-day battery life, and fast 5G connectivity in ultra-thin laptops with fanless designs. Thanks to new prime cores, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is claimed to offer up to 85% higher performance than the previous generation.

Qualcomm also claims the chip delivers 60% greater performance per watt compared to rival x86 platforms. The integrated Adreno GPU is said to bring up to 60% improvement in performance over the previous generation, enabling full HD gaming at 120fps. The AI capabilities of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 are extremely impressive too. Qualcomm claims it delivers 29+ TOPS of AI acceleration, which is almost three times higher than its rivals.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Hero ImageSource: Qualcomm

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 also boasts robust connectivity features. Support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55, X62, and X65 5G Modem-RF systems will allow devices powered by the chip to achieve speeds of up to 10 Gbps. Qualcomm’s FastConnect 6900 enables lightning-fast Wi-Fi 6/6E speeds.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform ChipSource: Qualcomm

Since video conferencing has become a part of our daily lives, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 uses the Qualcomm Spectra ISP to deliver “leading camera capabilities.” The company claims the ISP will allow for improved camera start-up time, up to 4K HDR camera quality, and support for up to four cameras for new use cases. To ensure crystal-clear audio, the chip uses Qualcomm’s Noise and Echo Cancellation technology, which leverages AI to boost the quality of users’ audio.

The new Snapdragon 7c Gen 3 platform has been designed for entry-tier Chromebooks and Windows PCs. It is a 6nm chip that promises an impressive 60% improvement in CPU performance and up to 70% faster GPU performance. The Qualcomm AI Engine allows the chip to deliver 6.5 TOPS of performance, which is significantly higher than other entry-level platforms.

Snapdragon 7c Gen 3 Compute Platform BadgeSource: Qualcomm

Like the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, the new 7c Gen 3 supports multi-gigabit Wi-Fi 6 and 6E. Its integrated Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system supports both sub-6 and mmWave 5G networks, with download speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps.

Qualcomm says the first devices featuring the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 will arrive in the first half of 2022.



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