December 10, 2018 weblog
Qualcomm fires up Snapdragon announcements, courts business PCs
Qualcomm has made several announcements. Ron Amadeo, Reviews Editor, Ars Technica: "Qualcomm's biggest strength in the SoC market is its modem technology and intellectual property, as it's one of the few players that can build a CPU, GPU, and modem all in a single chip."
First off, Qualcomm announced a collaboration with Mozilla. No points for guessing; the Firefox browser is getting added attention. James Sanders, TechRepublic, fleshed it out : "Mozilla is working with leading smartphone SoC manufacturer Qualcomm to bring an optimized version of Firefox to Snapdragon-powered notebooks running Windows 10."
The December 6 report in The Verge: Qualcomm announced that it's working with Mozilla to bring a compatible version of Firefox to Snapdragon-powered Windows computers on ARM. As was highlighted by Stephen Shankland, CNET, the Qualcomm component of the news is that Mozilla is building a version of its Firefox web browser for Windows 10 personal computers using Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors.
In a December 6 statement, Mozilla's Marissa Morris said, "Today, Mozilla is excited to be collaborating with Qualcomm and optimizing Firefox for the Snapdragon compute platform with a native ARM64 version of Firefox." Morris also said, "We can't wait to see Firefox delivering blazing fast experiences for the always on, always connected, multi-core Snapdragon compute platform with Windows 10."
WinBuzzer said according to the chip maker, the browser will be optimized for better performance with each tab able to run on individual CPU cores.
Snapdragon 855 SoC
During the second day of the Snapdragon Technology Summit, Qualcomm unveiled the newest in the 8 Mobile Platform Series, the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform.
Ars Technica reported on a flagship System on a Chip (SoC) . Why it matters: "Qualcomm has basically no competition at the high-end SoC market—especially in the US—," said Ron Amadeo, and "Snapdragon 855 will be headed to almost every flagship Android phone that ships in 2019."
"We'll wait until we get some hands on with the hardware until we make any judgements," said AnandTech. "Stay tuned, as power efficiency is going to be an interesting story here."
Meanwhile, Qualcomm is getting all the more aggressive in making a difference in business computing. This time, it is announcing the chips targeted for business PCs, making noise for something called Snapdragon 8cx.
Reuters said the series will be dedicated to PCs. Stephen Nellis said the new Qualcomm chips will support Windows 10 Enterprise; the latter is the OS version sold to businesses.
Snapdragon 8cx was announced at the Snapdragon Technology Summit as the Snapdragon "8cx Compute Platform," and positioned as the world's first 7 nanometer PC platform, set to power the next premium Always On, Always Connected PCs. XDA Developers nailed the target users. "Qualcomm is targeting those users who need a laptop that can stay connected while on the go and has battery life that easily lasts them throughout the day."
The XDA Developers site delivered ample technical details, one of which was that the 8cx is built on a 7nm fabrication process.
Has anyone attempted a hands-on? Mark Hachman, senior editor, PCWorld, delivered a report: It looks promising, he said, on Friday. "All in all, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx looks good—but so did the first Snapdragon 835-powered Asus NovaGo. We also don't know what will Intel and AMD will have up their sleeve in the meantime. It appears that 2019 will be a busy year for mobile CPUs."
Also, Jonathan Bray, reviews editor, Expert Reviews, mentioned various laptop-centric features which the 8cx will support, such as "high-speed NVMe SSDs, so big apps should launch just as quickly as they do on Intel-powered ultraportables."
But Bray knows it is too soon to being passing out stars. He said, "Snapdragon laptops will need to be priced at a lower level than the devices we've seen so far to entice customers to buy them. They'll need to be quicker and more reliable than the first generation of Snapdragon laptops and they'll need to be able to run all Windows apps as well. We won't know whether all these issues have been resolved, though, until we have product in our hands and that's unlikely to be earlier than Summer 2019."
Mishaal Rahman, XDA Developers, said, "The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx compute platform is being sampled to customers and is expected to ship in commercial products in Q3 2019."
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