Microsoft and Qualcomm announced computers on Windows 10 and Snapdragon 835

Published on May 31, 2017

Microsoft and Qualcomm announced computers on Windows 10 and Snapdragon 835


    A prototype of a computer motherboard with a Snapdragon 835 processor, a 50.4 cm² board area.

    Old-timers remember the abbreviation Wintel, which meant a Windows computer on an Intel processor — a kind of standard for a personal computer from years past. Perhaps in the future, marketers will have to invent some new abbrevaiaturu because now complete on Windows 10 will run on ARM-processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. Today at Computex conference took place the official presentation of the prototype ( Qualcomm's press release , the Microsoft press release ).

    Executive Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies Cristiano Amon (Cristiano Amon) said that with the new CPU, manufacturers will be able to produce PCs in the form factors of the “next generation” with 50% less energy consumption. Comparable motherboards for x86 processors due to the lower level of chip integration are almost twice as large in area (98.1 cm²).

    The collaboration of Microsoft and Qualcomm and the development of a new Snapdragon 835 processor (ARMv8) for Windows 10 was announced in December 2016.

    A few months later, Qualcomm has already introduced the first prototypes of processors. Microsoft engineers have at their disposal a prototype device from Qualcomm - and really were able to launchon it is Windows 10 Pro. Judging by the presentation, in appearance, Windows 10 on ARM is no different from operating the OS on a normal computer: all eight cores of Snapdragon 835 are involved, the processor runs at a clock frequency of 1.9 GHz. Applications are also installed in the usual way - insert a flash drive with a distribution kit into a laptop / tablet or launch an installer downloaded from torrents or the official website of the program - and install the program.

    Existing x86 win32 applications are installed and run on ARM completely transparently - without the need for additional actions by the user or application developer. The x86 instructions are translated into ARM64 instructions transparently during program execution, and are also cached on disk for faster use in the future.

    On tablets and laptops with ARM processors, all x86 programs will run fine, ranging from MS Office and Adobe Photoshop to old toys.



    Plans for Microsoft and Qualcomm gradually come to life. At today's exhibition, not only showed a prototype, but also announced the first OEM-partners who promised to release laptops on a new platform: these are ASUS, HP and Lenovo. Each company is going to launch a “sleek, thin and not needing a cooler” Windows 10 computer with support for the Gigabit Class LTE standard (and, probably, built-in programmable SIM cards according to the eSIM standard).


    Snapdragon 835 on-chip crystal


    motherboard comparison for Snapdragon 835 and x86

    The Snapdragon 835 on-chip system contains a Kryo 280 CPU, Adreno 540 graphics processor and Hexagon 682 DSP. The chip is made on the 10-nm technical process, which means a significant reduction in energy consumption. The Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform computing platform also includes a Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem with download speeds of up to 1 Gbps and a 2x2 802.11ac MU-MIMO modem for wireless communication at close range.



    In addition to increasing battery life by one and a half times, Qualcomm promises four to five times longer standby time. The new LTE-modem allows you to synchronize mail and receive notifications, even if the PC is in sleep mode (like in smartphones).

    The prototype at Computex is similar to the one that Microsoft engineers showed two weeks ago (maybe they were preparing it for the exhibition).


    Prototype at Computex 2017

    Here a 46-inch monitor, a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse were connected to it, and Microsoft Office and other popular programs were installed on the disk. Earlier it was said that connecting devices to an ARM laptop or desktop computer is as native and seamless as a regular computer running Windows 10 with an x86 processor. That is, you insert a webcam in USB - and it immediately earned.

    ASUS, HP and Lenovo have not yet announced the dates when the devices with Windows 10 on the Snapdragon 835 processors will be on sale, prices are also not called.

    Windows 10 for ARM is Microsoft's second attempt to release Windows for ARM processors. The previous version of Windows RT was not a success, including due to a lack of compatible software. Now there will be no problem with this.