Snapdragon SC8280 for Windows 10 is Qualcomm’s answer to Apple M1

Windows 10 on ARM leak
Image Courtesy: CNET

Snapdragon 8cx Gen2 processor for Windows 10 on ARM debuted in
2020 and Qualcomm is already working on a successor codenamed
“SC8280XP”. A processor going by the aforementioned name has
appeared in developer samples and Apple M1-rival is early in
development, judging by the information available in internal
documents.

The unreleased processor has been tested on devices with a
14-inch display, 32GB of RAM and a 64-bit version of Windows
10.

The current generation Windows 10 ARM PCs are laptops with
longer battery life and always-connected capability, which
means the devices are always connected to the internet.

So far, Qualcomm has only focused on battery life and internet
connectivity, while ignoring the performance aspect, which is a
big problem, especially when emulating apps in the container.
According to various benchmarks, Qualcomm-based Snapdragon CPUs
are currently slower than Apple M1 and processors from AMD and
Intel.

Qualcomm’s true answer to Apple M1

With Snapdragon SC8280XP, Qualcomm is switching the focus to
performance.

Unlike the Snapdragon 8cx, Qualcomm’s SC8280XP won’t come with
power-saving cores. It appears to feature eight-cores with four
“Gold+” cores, which will have a minimum clock speed of 2.7Ghz,
while the other four “Gold” cores will clock to 2.43GHz.

Snapdragon battery life

For SC8280XP, Qualcomm has completely ditched the
energy-efficient cores and the eight-core processor will focus
entirely on performance to compete against the likes of Apple
M1.

According to earlier reports, the chip will be switching
between the cores depending on the tasks performed in Windows
10.

The leaked Snapdragon processor is also expected to be based
upon integrated NPU (Neural Processing Unit). Sources have
indicated that the NPU will be significantly faster than the
existing solution for performing AI operations. This could
result in improved AI scene detection for the camera,
accelerated offline translation and more.

Snapdragon 8cx

This is promising news for Windows 10 on ARM, because the slow
performance was the most common complaint, especially after

Apple M1 completely crushed Snapdragon-powered Surface Pro
X in early benchmarks.

With Snapdragon SC8280XP still in the early stage of
development, we’re likely several months off from a public
release.

In addition to Qualcomm, Microsoft is also working on a big
Windows 10 on ARM update,
which includes support for Windows 10X and 64-bits apps
emulation.

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