At Computex a couple of weeks ago, Qualcomm unveiled its next gen Snapdragon platform targeting “always-on” laptops. That came to us in the form of the interestingly named Snapdragon 850 – a mere 5 digits higher than the 845, a chip which currently graces top-end Android smartphones, such as the OnePlus 6, and Samsung Galaxy S9. Features-wise, both the Snapdragon 845 and 850 are nearly identical, but the latter will be clocked a bit higher to deliver better performance for laptop convertibles.
What’s slated to offer even more performance apparently, however, is something called the Snapdragon 1000, a chip that has been enjoying its time in the rumormill spotlight these past few days. Whereas the 850 follows the 835 in always-on notebooks, and improves performance along-the-way, the 1000 series chips will be much more tuned for these notebooks, promising to offer Intel Y and U series levels of performance.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 reference notebook
Over the past year, Intel has had to face renewed competition from AMD, and now, it won’t be able to escape a fight from Qualcomm. Recently, Qualcomm decided to pull the plug on its Centriq server processor line, although it’s still up-in-the-air if the company’s Arm-based many-core chips are gone for good. While that fleshes out, the mobile market beyond from smartphones, is where Qualcomm wants a big piece of the pie. With notebooks promising all-day battery life and ample performance to get your work done, the company seems to be on the right track.
With the Snapdragon 1000, built on a 7nm TSMC process, it’s believed that they will adhere to 4.5W and 15W TDPs. At the low-end, that likely aligns with a chip like the 845, at least if it’s clocked a bit higher, a la 850. The 15W TDP is interesting to think about for a mobile Arm processor, and while power draw alone doesn’t tell us everything we need to know, it’s clear that this platform will be much better tuned for notebook-esque workloads more than typical mobile SoCs are. It is also rumored to use Arms new Cortex-A76 architecture that we detailed here for you recently.
What sounds really tasty are the Snapdragon 1000’s test platform specs. It includes 16GB of LPDDR4X memory, along with dual 128GB UFS flash drives. Add to that gigabit LTE, and 802.11ad Wi-Fi, and we’re starting to see signs of a true Windows notebook platform without big caveats based around traditional extra low power Snapdragon technologies.