Windows 10 OS running on ARM machine is an interesting development, as it will enable the “Always Connected PCs” phenomena similar to Smartphones. Microsoft is working hard to bring the full Windows 10 desktop experience to ARM-based SoCs (System-on-Chips). Last year, HP and ASUS launched their Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC powered machines, however, it didn’t launch well as different architecture (x86 and ARM are different) means Windows app incompatibilities. This year ASUS is working on a full-fledged Snapdragon Laptop powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1000 chipset (SoC).
Snapdragon Laptop In The Past
Last year, Qualcomm and its partners debuted the world’s first Snapdragon-powered Windows laptops namely HP Envy X2 and ASUS NovaGo. Asus NovaGo, is an ultra-thin and convertible laptop powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB of memory and 256GB of Universal Flash Storage 2.0 (UFS 2.0), which is capable of speeds up to 1,400Mbps. The device runs Windows 10 S and achieves Always On connectivity with a Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem (capable of up to 1Gbps download speeds) and dual-band 802.11ac WiFi with MU-MIMO technology.
HP Envy X2
Similar to the NovaGo, HP’s Envy x2 is a thin and light Windows 10 S laptop aimed at creatives, and it also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, up to 8GB of LPDDR4 PoP memory, and up to 256GB of storage. Always On is also onboard with a Snapdragon X16 LTE modem that supports 4G LTE-Advanced signals. The ARM-based laptops were not a success, however, these laptops were initial signs of full-fledged energy-efficient Always-Connected PCs.
Snapdragon Laptop In The Making
According to WinFuture, a new generation of Windows 10 ARM notebook will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 processor. The Snapdragon 1000 processor is being built specifically for Windows 10 on ARM devices.
The CPU’s power consumption is close to the power consumption of Intel’s processors. The Asus “Primus” notebook is expected to be the first Windows 10 notebook to integrate the Snapdragon 1000 processor. The development is expected to be completed in August 2018, may be released by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
To further reinforce these developments, ARM recently announced the Cortex-A76 IP CPU Cores designed to Laptops. SoC (System-on-Chips) based on the new Cortex A76 CPU and GPU IP will provide “laptop-class” performance, and the company also announced Arm Mali-V76 VPU with support for 8K video decoding and encoding.
DC works as a technology analyst in a research and advisory firm specializing in automotive, energy, electronics, and semiconductors domain. When he's not working, he loves gaming on his modest pc build, loves sci-fi films, and big pop culture geek!