Qualcomm reveals Snapdragon 850 chipset for Windows 10 PCs

Qualcomm's reference design for a Snapdragon 850 Windows system.                  Qualcomm

The Snapdragon 850 supports HDR displays and 4K capture through the onboard camera.

The chip is essentially a Snapdragon 845, the chip found in high-end Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S9, but beefed up slightly so it is suitable for use in PCs.

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 850, a new processor created to allow manufacturers to build always-on PCs that bring smartphone features such as LTE-connectivity and extended battery life to PCs.

We're excited to continuously grow the Windows 10 on Snapdragon ecosystem by supporting Sprint in providing customers with unlimited data, encouraging even greater on-the-go productivity and entertainment. Improved upon the Snapdragon 835, which debuted in notebooks last here, there are several benefits of running a Snapdragon 850 in a laptop, which all necessary details highlighted right here.

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The Snapdragon 850 also features an X20 LTE modem, which supports connectivity speeds of up to 1.2Gbps. The manufacturer says the chip will "support up to a 30 percent system-wide increase in performance", compared to the "previous generation", which we assume means the SD835. The difference in naming is mostly to separate the chip options for mobile PCs from mobile phones and tablets, though there are modest performance changes because of higher clock speeds on the Kryo CPU. The platform is dedicated to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications - and everything in between - in what Qualcomm calls Extended Reality (XR). Aqstic support can be supported on both USB Type-C and 3.5mm jack. Microsoft Edge is also going to be re-optimized for the platform.

Microsoft has been making headway in this space including with its release of the April 2018 OS update.

The Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform is a needed step in Qualcomm's journey towards competitive performance and revolutionary feature integration for Windows PCs. Lenovo also joined the fray a few months later.

The Snapdragon 850 is now official and later this year you can expect the first computers with it – likely laptops and 2-in-1s.

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