Fresh on the heels of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850, a new, PC-focused chip that’s intended as a followup to the Snapdragon 835, there’s rumors of the followup to that followup: The Snapdragon 1000. This new SoC is intended for a much larger TDP range, with 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 256GB of storage, gigabit WLAN, and a newly developed power management chip that Qualcomm isn’t sharing much detail about right now.
Supposedly these chips are intended to run in far more powerful systems than the Qualcomm chips we’ve seen to-date. The Snapdragon 1000 would go up against systems based on Intel’s Y- and U-series, with a TDP range of up to 12W for the initial SoC. The Snapdragon 1000 is said to dedicate up to 6.5W for the CPU, with 12W for the SoC, which would include the GPU and any onboard AI or machine learning hardware Qualcomm built on to the silicon.
This new chip wouldn’t launch immediately. If the Snapdragon 850 is intended to launch towards the end of the year, as Qualcomm has previously implied, then this follow-up probably wouldn’t be ready for another year after that, at least. Unless Qualcomm intends to attempt to steal a march on Intel — and it’s possible it does, since this these chips are supposedly also based on the ARM Cortex-A76. That’s ARM’s latest major refresh and next core project, and it’s expected to deliver significantly higher performance over the Cortex-A75. Whether that’ll be enough to put ARM up and even with x86 depends on a number of factors, some of which we’ve recently discussed. The question of emulation will be critical to any x86 versus ARM performance comparisons — if the chip is emulating x86 performance, there’s basically no chance it can match native perf.
Increasing the TDP range on the ARM chips may not help bring them into competitive standing with x86 as such — there’s no way that simply allowing for a slightly higher TDP range will lift the impact of emulation altogether. But allowing the CPUs to burst to higher frequencies would absolutely give the ARM chips better performance in their own right, and that’ll become more important as ARM and Qualcomm try to establish themselves as contenders in new markets rather than struggling for the Chromebook (or Chromebook-equivalent) space.
It’s also possible that Qualcomm intends to position this chip alongside the Snapdragon 850, as a premium-tier offering to the more mainstream counterpart. This would give Qualcomm a laptop-equivalent to the 4xx and 6xx Snapdragon parts it has previously fielded, allowing it to target a wider range of parts and prices without trying to handle the entire space with a single SoC.
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