Earlier this week, I wrote about Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 845 processor. Specifically, how the company’s chip updates will move faster than Always Connected PCs. It leaves a situation where Windows 10 on ARM devices may be constantly near obsolescence. Reports now suggest Qualcomm may have a plan to solve this problem.
The argument from the Snapdragon 845 report was that Qualcomm updates its flagship processors more frequently than customers would upgrade Windows 10 on ARM laptops. Consumers do not want yearly hardware upgrades for PC devices in the same way they do smartphones. Heck, the demise of the tablet market proves that.
Qualcomm can solve that problem by creating an exclusive processor for Windows 10 on ARM. According to new reports, the company is doing just that. Called the Snapdragon 850, it would be a CPU specifically for Always Connected PCs.
Currently, Qualcomm uses its mobile flagship processors for Always Connected PCs. For example, the first generation of Windows 10 on ARM devices that launched recently (to average reviews) used the current Snapdragon 835 mobile chip.
To run a laptop Windows environment, the 835 needed some tweaks. Creating an exclusive processor like a Snapdragon 850 would solve that issue for Qualcomm. It would also mean Always Connected PCs could stay relevant with generations lasting longer. In other words, Qualcomm would not upgrade the exclusive Windows 10 on ARM processor as often as its smartphone CPUs.
That does little for the current first gen of laptops, which will become old school with the launch of the next Qualcomm processors (Snapdragon 850 or 845).
Speaking of the first generation of Always Connected PCs, they were met with poor reviews. So much so, Microsoft distanced its Windows 10 on ARM plans from the laptops. Part of the problem was Qualcomm’s mobile processors were not originally designed for laptops or PC use.
The considerably extra load produced by laptops causes more heat on the Snapdragon 835. CPUs don’t like heat, so the result was a noticeable drop in performance. With its new silicon, Qualcomm will take aspects of the upcoming Snapdragon 845 to better manage heat.
Indeed, the Snapdragon 850 would optimize heat management more efficiently, be purposely built for laptops, and should perform better.