01 December 2021
This year's Snapdragon Tech Summit kicked off with the unveiling of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the latest flagship from Qualcomm and the first one to release under the new branding scheme. It has now taken wraps off three new chips: Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, and Snapdragon G3x Gen 1. The first two are aimed at Windows laptops and the last one is specifically meant for handheld gaming devices. Let's have a look at each of them one at a time.
Qualcomm has unveiled Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 as the world's first 5nm chip for Windows laptops and Chromebooks. This is a significant upgrade over both the previous generations as those were based on the 7nm process. The new offering is claimed to deliver up to 85% faster performance and up to 60% better graphics performance than a "competitive x86 platform" device. It is capable of running 1080p games at 120fps.
The neural processing unit i.e. NPU has been upgraded to offer over 29 TOPS which results in three times higher AI acceleration than the previous generation. The chip supports 5G connectivity (up to 10Gbps speed) and WiFi 6/WiFi 6E. It is capable of delivering superior camera and audio quality for better video conferencing experiences. It now supports up to 4K HDR resolution and can handle up to four different cameras at the same time.
There are improvements in battery life as Qualcomm claims Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 machines can last for more than 25 hours on a single usage. However, the actual figures will depend on the particular device and your usage habits.
The Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is the newest chipset from Qualcomm for affordable Windows machines and Chromebooks. It is based on the 6nm manufacturing process as compared to the 8nm process used for the predecessor. It is said to deliver up to 60% faster CPU performance and up to 70% faster GPU performance. The improved NPU on the chip now offers 6.5 TOPS which is an upgrade over 5 TOPS on the last generation.
The connectivity options include 5G (up to 3.6Gbps speed), WiFi 6/WiFi 6E (up to 2.9Gbps speed), and Bluetooth 5.2. It is capable of recording 4K HDR videos and supports up to three camera sensors simultaneously.
Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, its first-ever chipset dedicated to Android-based handheld gaming devices like Nintendo Switch. It is packed with many of Qualcomm's existing gaming features including the Snapdragon Elite Gaming technology. The chip is capable of supporting 10-bit HDR output and a 144fps gaming experience.
For gamers who love to connect their handheld gaming devices to an external display like a TV, it supports gaming in up to 4K resolution. In terms of connectivity, the chip is compatible with 5G, WiFi 6, and WiFi 6E. This will specifically be beneficial for devices that offer cloud-based game streaming. Since the immersive audio output is crucial for a superior gaming experience, there is support for Snapdragon Sound technology.
Qualcomm has also teamed up with Razer to release a reference device to help developers build games based on the platform. It sports a 6.5-inch Full HD+ OLED display with up to 120 fps refresh rate support. The device has a 5-megapixel front camera for live streaming purposes. Other features include native controlling mapping support vi AKSys, Snapdragon Sound-powered quad speakers, 5G mmWave, and WiFi 6. The battery capacity is unknown but is claimed to be big enough that it won't cause any issues.