Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 850 a couple of days ago, its first chip exclusively targeted at laptop-style devices. Sure, it’s a slightly overclocked 845, but it’s a start. More info is surfacing about the Snapdragon 1000 and it will be more powerful than expected.
It will reportedly have a TDP of up to 12 W, nearly double the TDP of the S850 and massive for ARM chip. For comparison, Intel’s U-series – e.g. 8250U and 8550U – are rated at 15 W and have four cores with two threads each.
Intel’s cores are huge compared to the typical ARM core, but then software isn’t great at using much more than 8 cores. So what will Qualcomm do?
One possibility is using the larger Cortex-A76 core that ARM just unveiled. It promised a 35% performance boost on similar clock speeds (3.0 GHz vs. 2.8 GHz, a 7% increase) and that’s likely the target for phones. In a laptop or 2-in-1 form factor, the clock speed will be higher and the better cooling will allow the chip to sustain those speeds for longer.
Qualcomm is likely looking at TSMC’s 7 nm process to build the Snapdragon 1000. And the ultraportable laptops will be running Microsoft’s ARM version of Windows, which sounds like a much better OS than the ill-fated Windows RT (it has support for x86 apps, though not x64).
Asus may be the first to bring out a laptop with the new chip. The prototype is called “Primus” and features a 1080p screen and WiGig wireless.