Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1000 chip may be designed specifically for Windows 10 PCs
Qualcomm announced its new Snapdragon 850 processor for PCs at Computex 2018, but that chip was really just a customized version of the existing Snapdragon 845 chip found in smartphones. It featured higher clock speeds and hardware and software optimizations for better performance on PCs, but it was still built on the same second-generation 10nm process as the 845.
However, Qualcomm’s next PC-focused outing may be more ambitious and feature a new designed built specifically for PCs.
According to WinFuture, the SDM1000 – tentatively dubbed the Snapdragon 1000 – will have a rather large design (20x15mm versus 12x12mm) compared to most ARM chips. It will also reportedly draw 12W of power across the entire SoC, with 6.5W dedicated for the CPU alone.
This puts it in direct competition with Intel’s Y- and U-series chips for ultraportable devices. In addition, if a reference design found in import databases is anything to go by, the chip could have up to 16GB of RAM, two 128GB storage modules, Gigabit Ethernet, and a socketed processor design.
That said, the latter feature seems unlikely to be used in a shipping product, and it may be more for Qualcomm’s development process instead.
Finally, the Snapdragon 1000 is supposedly based on ARM’s next-generation Cortex-A76 architecture, which is expected to deliver significant performance improvements over the Cortex-A75.
If this pans out, Intel may face an even greater challenge from ARM-powered PCs. However, any chip that emulates x86 performance will still fall behind in performance comparisons, but the higher TDP and consequently higher frequencies may help close the gap somewhat.
We also won’t be seeing the Snapdragon 1000 any time soon, given that the Snapdragon 850 is intended to launch toward the end of the year.
It’s also possible that Qualcomm may end up positioning the 1000-series chip as a premium offering to the more mainstream Snapdragon 850. This would then allow it to address a wider range of devices and price points without needing to rely on a single chip.