Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 for Always-Connected PCs

New Snapdragon-powered always-connected PCs incoming!

by: - Last updated on: June 17th, 2022
Key Takeaways
  • Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ compute platforms for always-connected PCs.
  • Both platforms aim to bring improved performance, better battery life, and 5G connectivity to modernize PC experiences and redefine mobile computing for end-users.
  • However, while the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a 5nm platform that will power some of the upcoming premium, ultra-thin laptops (including Chromebooks), the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 will be seen on some entry-level always-connected laptops.

Qualcomm announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the latest mobile platform from Snapdragon for flagship Android devices, on day one at the ongoing Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021.

Now on day two at the summit, the company is expanding its portfolio with the introduction of Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 to accelerate mobile computing on the upcoming premium and entry-level connected PCs, respectively.

snapdragon-powered always-connected pcs

IMAGE: Qualcomm

According to Qualcomm, “both platforms utilize smart, connected technology to modernize PC experiences and redefine mobile computing for end-users.”

Let’s dive in to check out both these platforms in detail.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3

snapdragon 8cx gen 3

IMAGE: Qualcomm

Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is the world’s first 5nm platform for Windows PC and Chromebooks. The new platform is said to deliver powerful mobile computing experiences with leading AI performance and efficiency. And as we’ve already mentioned, it will power some of the upcoming premium, ultra-thin laptops.

Here’s a breakdown of all the notable highlights of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3.

Performance and Battery Life

Starting with the fundamentals, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is built on a 5nm architecture that promises to deliver faster and efficient processing speeds with up to 85% faster CPU and up to 60% faster GPU performance than the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2.

Qualcomm says this increase in computing power is delivered efficiently while ensuring 25+ hours of battery life on a single charge. In comparison, this battery life comes out to be up to 2x as long as that on most current PCs.

snapdragon 8cx gen 3 chip

IMAGE: Qualcomm

Talking about specifications, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 uses cores from Qualcomm’s Kryo CPU and has an Adreno GPU for all the graphics-intensive operations.

AI

Moving to AI performance, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 includes Qualcomm’s AI Engine to handle AI-related tasks and operations, which claims to deliver 29+ TOPS of acceleration compared to its predecessor. As a result, PCs powered by 8cx Gen 3 will be able to work efficiently with cloud-class models without affecting other system resources and hampering your overall productivity on the system.

At its core, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has Qualcomm’s Hexagon Processor and Sensing Hub for all kinds of AI-based processing and workloads required to enable new use cases and accelerate other application experiences.

Connectivity

snapdragon 8cx gen 3 specs

IMAGE: Qualcomm

Since being on-the-go demands constant connectivity, the Snapdragon 8cs Gen 3 brings low-latency wireless connectivity—without performance compromises—on premium, ultra-thin PCs to facilitate productivity and entertainment virtually anywhere. Not just that, the improved connectivity on the new platform also makes opens the door to xCloud gaming on ultra-thin laptops.

For this, the platform ensures seamless switching between cellular (5G and 4G LTE) and Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6) and offers cellular speeds of up to 10 Gbps with the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF system, up to 7.5 Gbps with the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF system, and up to 4.4 Gbps on the X62 5G Modem-RF system, whereas, on the Wi-Fi side of things, it ensures up to 3.6 Gbps with the FastConnect 6900 system.

Camera and Audio

The Snapdragon 8x Gen 3 brings immersive audio and video experiences for video calls, thanks to its support for 4K HDR video and the latest generation 3A (Auto focus, Auto White Balance, and Auto Exposure) system. In terms of specifics, the platform uses the Qualcomm Spectra ISP and supports up to a 24MP camera that can capture up to 4K HDR videos @30fps.

As for audio, the latest platform features Hi-Fi audio and AI-accelerated echo-cancellation and noise suppression (ECNS) technology, which work in tandem and promise to provide crystal clear audio quality during video conferencing.

Security

snapdragon 8cx gen 3 security

IMAGE: Qualcomm

Lastly, talking about security, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 comes with the Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit (SPU) that includes Secure Boot and Microsoft Pluton TPM architecture to ensure secure system startup. This also makes it compatible with Windows Hello and fingerprint login features, which further strengthen secure access.

Besides, the latest compute platform also introduces runtime memory encryption to keep your data secure and offer secure connections to cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Specifications

CPUQualcomm Kryo CPU
GPUQualcomm Adreno GPU
MemoryLPDDR4X (8 x 16 channel)
StorageSSD: NVMe
UFS: UFS 3.1
CameraQualcomm Spectra ISP
Single camera up to 24MP
4K HDR and 4K Ultra HD video capture
Connectivity5G:
Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System
Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System
Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System

Wi-Fi:
Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6

Bluetooth:
Bluetooth 5.1

USB:
USB 3.1
DisplayUp to 4K Ultra HD
AudioQualcomm Aqstic audio
Qualcomm aptX audio
Support for aptX and aptX HD

Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3

snapdragon 7c+ gen 3

IMAGE: Qualcomm

Unlike the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is entirely focused on delivering improved performance and 5G connectivity on entry-level always-connected laptops. As such, it promises to bring multi-day better life, 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, and enhanced AI capabilities at much lower price points.

Here are some of the major highlights of the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3.

Performance and Battery Life

With the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, Qualcomm aims to improve the CPU performance on entry-level laptops. It’s built on top of the 6nm process and ensures up to 30% performance boost compared to its competitors, all while maintaining multi-day battery life and keeping fan-less laptops cool and quiet.

snapdragon 7c+ gen 3 specs

IMAGE: Qualcomm

For this, it employs a Kryo (octa-core) CPU and has Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU to assist with graphics processing.

AI

AI capabilities on the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 are handled by the Qualcomm AI Engine. As per the company, this enables the platform to deliver efficient performance across different use cases for increased productivity and learning.

Connectivity

One of Qualcomm’s key objectives with the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is to bring 5G connectivity on entry-level PCs. And with the Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system and Qualcomm FastConnect 6700, the company aims to do just that while offering peak download speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps (on 5G) and up to 2.9 Gbps (on Wi-Fi), all while ensuring seamless switching between Wi-Fi and 5G for on-the-go connectivity.

Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Specifications

CPUQualcomm Kryo (octa-core) CPU
GPUQualcomm Adreno GPU
Memory2 channel: LPDDR5 and LPDDR4X
StorageSSD: NVMe/eMMC 5.1
UFS: UFS 2.1
CameraQualcomm Spectra ISP
Up to 64MP single, up to 36+22MP dual, and up to 22MP triple cameras
Connectivity5G:
Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF System
Up to 3.7 Gbps
Wi-Fi:
Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth:
Bluetooth 5.2
USB:
USB 3.1
DisplayFHD+

Availability

Qualcomm says we can expect to see devices powered by Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 in the first half of 2022. However, there’s no word yet on which brands will make these devices.

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