Qualcomm builds a new generation of 5nm ARM chip for Windows laptops

Qualcomm announced a new generation of ARM chips for Windows and Chromebooks, named Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, and at the same time introduced a new handheld gaming device processor named Snapdragon G3x Gen 1.

8cx Gen 3 naturally follows last year’s Gen 2 and is Qualcomm’s first PC processor using a 5nm process.

This allows 8cx Gen 3 to improve performance by as much as 85% under approximately the same energy consumption as Gen 2, and it is claimed to have a 60% advantage compared to x86 chips with the same energy consumption.

In addition to 5G and WiFi 6/6E support, Qualcomm also said that the platform has “multi-day” power hours, upgraded video and audio processing capabilities, and security.

8cx Gen 3 will be able to provide “29+ TOPS AI acceleration”, which is “3 times that of leading competitors”, and will increase the speed of functions such as facial recognition and video call background removal.

8cx Gen 3 supports up to 4 cameras and can handle video quality up to 4K HDR.

In the display part, the new generation Adreno also has a 60% performance improvement over the previous generation, and can play Full HD games at up to 120fps.

And because of its power saving, it can play 50% longer than “certain competitive platforms”.

Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is designed for entry-level PCs and Chromebooks, only half a year has passed since the previous generation of 7c Gen 2.

In addition to also supporting 5G and WiFi 6/6E, Qualcomm claims that its CPU has a 40% performance increase over the previous generation, and a 35% increase in display performance.

Leaving aside the M1 Mac, it seems that the Arm chip has not yet achieved great results on the Windows PC side.

Maybe after this performance improvement, Qualcomm will have another chance to challenge the dominance of Intel and AMD? Devices using 8cx Gen 3 or 7c+ Gen 3 are expected to debut in the first half of 2022.

In addition to the chips for the two PCs, Qualcomm has also taken the lead in the potential market for handheld gaming devices. The game platform called Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 will mainly support streaming games from the console or PC, cloud games, and compatibility with Android games and apps.

Its Adreno GPU will be able to render pictures at 10-bit HDR and 144fps frame rate, while the FastConnect 6900 system provides mmWave and sub-6 5G, plus Wi-Fi 6/6E network connection.

To showcase the platform, Qualcomm worked with Razer to create a developer kit for handheld gaming devices, which will be available for sale on the Razer website.

This development machine has a 120Hz, 6.65-inch OLED panel, four-way speakers and an integrated handle. The device also has a built-in 1080/60p webcam, which can be directly used for live streaming.