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Snapdragon 850 Processor For Laptops Released!

Last year, Microsoft and Qualcomm jointly released the Snapdragon 835 powered notebook device, equipped with Windows 10 on ARM system. However it didn’t take off as expected due to compatibilities issues. Now at the Taipei Computer Show, Qualcomm has officially launched the Snapdragon 850 (SD850) processor, designed for Windows 10 ARM notebooks.

Snapdragon 850

Image Credit: Qualcomm

Qualcomm, ASUS, ARM, among others are working hard to bring the benefits of ARM processor into Windows powered Notebooks. In view of the above, ARM exposed new CPU IP Cores which can provide laptop grade performance.

Snapdragon 850 Features

The SD850 is based on the Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, which is used for the Android flagship phone. However, the Snapdragon 850 is suitable for Windows 10 PCs.

It contains the same eight 10nm Kryo 385 cores, but they can clock up to 2.96 GHz instead of 2.8 GHz. The Snapdragon 850 also includes the Adreno 630 GPU, which provides 4K UHD video playback, HEVC video encoding up to 1080p/120fps, and more.

Like the Snapdragon 845, the Snapdragon 850 supports the Snapdragon X20 4G LTE modem, which means it supports downlink speeds up to 1.2Gbps. The Snapdragon X16 in the Snapdragon 835 previously supported 1Gbps. Qualcomm said that with 10MHz licensed spectrum, 90% of operators can provide Gigabit LTE.

In terms of Wi-Fi, the Snapdragon 850 chipset supports the 802.11ad protocol with MU-MIMO, integrates 802.11ac 2×2, and supports the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 60 GHz bands.

The SD850 also includes the Spectra 280 image signal processor. Strangely, it only supports 4K/30fps video recording, while the Spectra 280 of the Snapdragon 845 supports 4K/60fps video recording. The SD850 is still built by Samsung foundry.

Snapdragon 850 Specifications

  • CPU – 8x Kryo 385 Arm cores clocked @ up to 2.96 GHz
  • GPU – Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem with
    • Open GL ES 3.2, Open CL 2.0, Vulkan, DirectX 12
    • Ultra HD Premium video playback and encoding @ 4K (3840×2160) 30fps,
    • Slow motion HEVC video encoding of FHD (1080p) up to 120fps
    • H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), VP9
    • DisplayPort over USB Type-C support
  • DSP – Hexagon 685 DSP with Hexagon Vector DSP (HVX), Hexagon Scalar DSP (Audio), and Hexagon All-Ways Aware Hub (Sensor)
  • Memory I/F – 4x 16-bit LPDDR4x up to 1866 MHz
  • Storage I/F – TBD
  • Cellular Modem – Snapdragon X20 LTE modem with peak download speed of 1.2 Gbps, peak upload speed of 150 Mbps
  • Wireless Connectivity
    • 802.11ad multi-gigabit WiFi & 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO WiFi @ 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, or 60 GHz (Tri-band WiFi)
    • Bluetooth 5, Qualcomm TrueWireless
    • Location – 6 satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, SBAS; low power geofencing and tracking, sensor-assisted Navigation
  • Audio
    • Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and speaker amplifier
    • Qualcomm aptX audio playback with support for aptX Classic and HD
    • Native DSD support, PCM up to 384kHz/32bit
  • Camera
    • 14-bit Spectra 280 Image Signal Processor with support for 16MP camera @ 60 fps, dual 16MP camera @ 30 fps, or 32MP camera @ 30 fps.
    • Video capture up to 4K UHD (3840×2160) @ 30 fps
  • Security – Qualcomm Processor Security, Qualcomm Mobile Security, Qualcomm Content Protection
  • Charging – Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology
  • Manufacturing Process – 10nm

Snapdragon 850 Vs Snapdragon 835

Snapdragon 850
Image Credit: Qualcomm

In comparison to the Snapdragon 835, the higher clocks in the 850 increases the performance by 30%, increases the battery life by 20%, and 4G LTE speed increased by 20%.

The company said that when it asked consumers about the features that were worth paying for, 60% said they had gigabit LTE and 83% said they needed more than 20 hours of battery life. Hence, the Snapdragon 850 is carefully crafted to provide a balance of both.

Snapdragon 850 Vs Snapdragon 845

There are not much difference between the both as the SD850 is built using the same platform. However, the SD850 can optimally power a notebook due to the higher clocker without needing a cooling system (not mandatory).

Snapdragon 850 Laptops

Qualcomm said that with the new Snapdragon 850 chipset equipped on Windows 10 PC device will begin shipping on Christmas holidays in 2018. The best part is, the joint development can ensure use of x86 and UWP applications on the drive.

Apart from the Snapdragon 850, the company is reportedly working on another processor namely – Snapdragon 1000 using Cortex-A76 CPUs.

This was just an exposure to the newly launched laptop ARM processor. Further, this post will continue with a comparison post with its competitors.

Watch the promotional video @

To know more, visit the product page

Would you buy a ARM processor powered notebook?. Let us know in the comments section below.