In a bold move to challenge the dominance of Apple and Intel in the laptop market, Qualcomm announced its most powerful and ambitious system-on-a-chip (SoC) for Windows PCs yet – the Snapdragon X Elite. Unveiled at the company’s Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii on Tuesday, the new chip is poised to shake up the laptop landscape when it starts shipping in 2024.
According to a recent TechRadar report, the Snapdragon X Elite is based on Qualcomm’s new Oryon CPU, which the company claims delivers faster single-threaded performance than Apple’s M2 Max and Intel’s Core i9 in specific benchmarks. While Qualcomm did not provide full details on the mysterious benchmarks, it did state that the Oryon CPU offers up to 70% better power efficiency than competing chips at peak performance.
For Laptops with the chip — raw speed performance and AI capability
Besides raw speed, Qualcomm is touting the Snapdragon X Elite’s AI capabilities. With 75 trillion operations per second, the company says the chip can run 13 billion parameter AI models directly on the device. This is enabled by the Hexagon Neural Processing Unit (NPU) working in conjunction with the Oryon CPU and Adreno GPU.
The Adreno GPU is no slouch, capable of up to 4.6 teraflops of graphics performance. Qualcomm claims this translates to “days” of battery life for laptops with the Snapdragon X Elite, thanks to the chip’s power-efficient 4nm manufacturing process.
Laptops with the new chip will also support advanced capabilities like 64MP cameras, 4K video recording, 5G and Wi-Fi 7 connectivity, and Microsoft’s Windows Studio features. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella even made an appearance at the launch event, promising deeper integration between Windows and the Snapdragon platform through Copilot, Microsoft’s AI helper.
Full details for the Snapdragon X Elite won’t be revealed until 2024
While full details on devices with the Snapdragon X Elite won’t be known until 2024, Qualcomm did reveal that Microsoft’s Surface team is working on a laptop featuring the chip. This positions the Snapdragon X Elite as a direct competitor to Apple’s rumored M3 Silicon, expected to be announced next week. It also gives Qualcomm a response to Intel’s continuing domination of the Windows laptop market.
With significant performance, efficiency claims, and Microsoft’s backing, the Snapdragon X Elite marks Qualcomm’s biggest play at the laptop market. The ball is now in Apple and Intel’s court to respond. But one thing is clear — the competition to power your next laptop got much more interesting.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Dominika Gregušo; Pexels; Thank you!