The Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform is designed to support many sought-after smartphone features in the PC and to stay connected to LTE or Wi-Fi. Powered by a 2.95GHz Kryo CPU, the power-efficient architecture is engineered to support up to 30 percent system-wide increase in performance and up to 3X AI performance over the previous generation, as well as up to 1.2 gigabits per second LTE connectivity speeds and up to 25 hours of continuous usage or multi-day battery life under normal usage conditions.
With 10nm node efficiency, the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform allows for more portable, fanless designs, compared to current 14nm solutions. In addition, new and improved features on the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform can support on-device experiences for AI, and users can expect camera, voice and battery life enhancements. In addition, advanced graphics and high-quality audio is designed to allow users to maximize their entertainment while viewing or capturing, all while bringing a Windows 10 experience.
Qualcomm says it has worked closely with Microsoft to accelerate Microsoft's new AI API, Windows ML, within a dedicated AI block within the chip. Qualcomm also improved the dedicated logic blocks for audio and video-which add 4K capture capabilities with the 850 generation.
Windows 10 devices powered by the Snapdragon Mobile Compute Platform are expected to be available in retail later this year.
Qualcomm also announced a joint effort with Sprint for Sprint to offer its customers free unlimited data in 2018 with AutoPay on Qualcomm Snapdragon Always Connected PCs from Asus, HP and Lenovo. Those who've already bought the "always-connected PCs" based on the company's processors will also be able to sign up, the San Diego-based chipmaker said. Similar offers with local carriers are being arranged in other countries.
Reviewers of laptops that are already on the market using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chip have praised the machines' battery life, which typically lasts all day, while saying that the performance lags behind traditional PC processors.
Anyone who used a first-generation Always Connected PC, though, knows that Windows wouldn't accept any 64-bit apps. Any 32-bit apps not written specifically for the ARM architecture that the Snapdragon chip used-like the x86 instruction set used by AMD and Intel chips-were automatically translated. Translated apps could run on Windows 10 Pro, but performance could suffer because the app wasn't running natively.
At the recent Build conference, Microsoft publicly released a 64-bit preview SDK for the Snapdragon ARM64 architecture.