Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, world’s first 5nm chip for Windows laptops launched with big push on 5G and AI

This is Qualcomm’s flagship chip for Windows-on-ARM devices.

Qualcomm announced two new chips for Windows-on-ARM laptops on Thursday at its Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021. One of them, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is being touted as the world’s first 5nm chip for Windows laptops—this is Qualcomm’s flagship chip for Windows-on-ARM devices. The other, which is called the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, is a more mainstream affair aimed at bringing 5G and other modern-day features to entry-level Windows machines.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3-powered devices will launch starting first half of 2022, Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a high-performance, power efficient chip for always-on, always-connected breed of laptops. Though Qualcomm hasn’t shared granular details about CPU, core counts and sorts, the new chip is said to offer whopping “85 percent” faster performance at multi-threaded operations over its predecessor. The graphics, also, will be up by 60 percent, Qualcomm said. As for AI and machine learning tasks, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 offers over 29 TOPS—which is a 3x improvement over the chip that it is replacing.

Despite all the power gains, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is still meant to enable fanless designs and up to 25-hour battery life—though all this will vary depending on how OEMs use the compute platform.

Also Read | Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 announced: Top features, specs, and phones to be powered by new chip

Qualcomm will offer the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 in a choice of multiple 5G modem options starting with the 4.4 Gbps-capable X62 to the high-end X65 that can deliver up to 10 Gbps downlink speeds. The chip will support both Wi-Fi 6 and 6E.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is further designed to enable “immersive video and audio experiences for video conferencing,” with features like AI-accelerated echo-cancellation and noise suppression (ECNS), 3A that is Auto focus, Auto White Balance, and Auto Exposure, and support for multiple cameras.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3

The relatively more mass-market Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 chip is built on a 6nm process which is an improvement over the 8nm-based 7c Snapdragon Gen 2. The new chip is said to offer up to 60 percent faster performance, up to 70 percent faster graphics, and 6.5 TOPS of AI compute power. Qualcomm also touts “multi-day battery life” on this one.

Elsewhere, the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 has an X53 5G modem capable of delivering speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps. There’s support for Wi-Fi 6E as well.

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