Qualcomm will announce today the new PC processor based on the ARM design. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 follows the Snapdragon 8cx of 2018, where then the company stated that the "x" in the name means "extreme" power. This year's model offers better performance and AI support for newer WiFi and Bluetooth, but does not seem to be running faster than before. Acer and HP announced today that they will launch laptops with the new chipset, with Acer's Spin 7 being the first to use it. Her product HP will be one notebook focusing on day-to-day operations and the company said more information would be released later in the year.
Instead of comparing the latest chipset with the previous generation, the Qualcomm said the new 8cx offers over 50% more "performance and battery life compared to other competing solutions". Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon said the first generation 8cx outperformed the competition using just "a fraction of its power", while the new 8cx offers 18% better system performance than the Intel Core i5 tenth generation. All of this is similar to the performance of the previous generation and there do not seem to be any real performance improvements in terms of speed.
Amon has identified the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 video signal processor (ISP) as a tool to help webcams deliver better quality. The Spectra ISP will support sensors up to 32-megapixel, as well as 4K HDR recording. It will also allow HDR streaming and playback. Like the previous generation, the new 8cx can perform on two 4K monitors, but this time it supports 4K at a framerate higher than 60 fps via a single cable. Qualcomm also uses Aqstic noise canceling technology to make your voice sound clearer when calling in a noisy environment.
The 8cx Gen 2 AI will also allow faster processing of processes such as the eye contact function that was also available on Surface Pro X with the previous chipset. Qualcomm has also announced features such as Loom Avatar that can replace you in one video call and deliver your facial expressions in real time.
As for one of the biggest advantages of Snapdragon, connectivity, like the first generation 8cx, this chipset will be compatible with 5G. To support 5G, laptop manufacturers will also need to add the Snapdragon X55 modem to their products or an X20 if they only want to enable LTE. Qualcomm said that while the X55 is not standard, it expects most Gen 2 8xx machines to have 5G.
Microsoft is committed to taking responsibility for application compatibility
One of the biggest challenges plaguing them Windows on the Snapdragon platform is application compatibility. While Microsoft has made improvements in support for 64-bit applications for ARM and in a native emulator for 32-bit applications, there is still not much compatibility for the platform. The head of Microsoft, Panos Panay, gave some information about the App Assure program for Windows in ARM. "We deliver App Assure to all our customers using Snapdragon," Panay said.
App Assure was released in 2018 to help developers make Windows 7 applications compatible with Windows 10. It allows people with application compatibility issues to work with Microsoft engineers until their issues are resolved.
While the actual performance promises of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 do not seem like a big leap forward, the update from Microsoft certainly gives some hope. We will have to wait until their laptops are available Acer and HP to be able to determine if Snapdragon computers will eventually be reliable or if they will continue to disappoint the public.