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ARM switches to 5nm on Windows laptops

Qualcomm presented two new ARM chips at its Tech Summit: the Snapdragon 8xc Gen 3 and the Snapdragon 7c + Gen 3.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3: ARM goes 5nm on Windows laptopsDuring the Snapdragon Tech Summit, in addition to announcing a new range of chips dedicated to gaming and its new flagship for smartphones, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm unveiled its new ARM chip for Windows laptop engraved in 5 nm, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3.

Compared to the second generation, the jump is considerable. Qualcomm promises an 85% faster CPU in multicore and a 60% increase in performance per watt, and therefore better battery life. Qualcomm promises “Several days of autonomy” and just over 25 hours of battery life with intensive use.

No Cortex-X2

Qualcomm compared its CPU to an Intel Core i5 with a consumption of 22W without specifying which model was used as a reference. The Snapdragon 8cx would display similar performance with a consumption of 9 W. At 15W, the Snapdragon chip would be able to display performance 25% better than its competitor while consuming 25% less energy.

Laptop computer blank white screen on table in cafe background. Laptop with blank screen on table of coffee shop blur background.

Laptop computer blank white screen on table in cafe background. Laptop with blank screen on table of coffee shop blur background.

On the architectural side, as reported XDA Developers, the CPU is based on four Cortex-X1 cores and four Cortex-A78 cores. Too bad not to have equipped its latest generation of SoC ARM with the Cortex-X2, yet present in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The new Adreno GPU has received a slight boost and allows you to play in full HD / 120 FPS.

Ultra connected PC

We find the philosophy of Snapdragon PCs “always on, always connected”. Three configurations are planned to equip PCs with a Snapdragon 8xc Gen 3 each with a different modem: the Snapdragon X62 with a maximum speed of 4.4 Gb / s, the Snapdragon X55 (7.5 Gb / s) and the Snapdragon X65 (10 Gb / s). The latter is strictly the same as the one that equips the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3: ARM goes 5nm on Windows laptops

The chip dealing with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is also the same as on the mobile chip, since it is the Fast Connect 6900.

Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3

Qualcomm has also renewed its entry-level offering with the Snapdragon 7c + Gen 3. This promises a 60% faster CPU and a 70% faster GPU compared to the older generation.

Engraved in 6 nm, it is a chip capable of equipping a PC connected in 5G at little cost. Note, however, that the speed will have nothing to do with high-end offers, since it caps at 3.7 Gb / s. On the Wi-Fi side too, this chip takes advantage of the latest standard in force, Wi-Fi 6E, with a maximum speed of 2.9 Gb / s.

Exclusive features

Both chips integrate Hexagon processors specialized in AI, which have allowed Qualcomm to integrate new interesting features.

We were able to test the Qualcomm Voice Suite active noise reduction, and it is simply stunning. During the demonstration, our interlocutor’s voice was perfectly intelligible, with very little compression, as she filtered out sudden sounds at a rather high volume, like a packet of crisps being opened, a barking dog or even a ukulele.

The webcam also brings its share of novelties. The always on camera allows for example to unlock your PC when you sit in front of it and lock it when you get up. A functionality similar to what Nvidia Broadcast offers was also presented to us. The computer can for example follow the faces of one or more people and zoom in or out to adapt to their position.


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