Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G chip for PCs at IFA 2020

The new 8cx chip boasts better performance, battery life and security

Qualcomm kicked off IFA in Berlin, Germany by announcing its next generation of Snapdragon Compute chips.

The new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G brings better performance, battery life, 5G connectivity, improved security and AI capabilities over last year’s 8cx platform. On the performance end, Qualcomm says the 8cx Gen 2 delivers a 50 percent improvement to performance across the system, as well as multi-day battery life.

Further, the 8cx Gen 2 marks Qualcomm’s second Compute platform with 5G connectivity through both Sub-6 and mmWave. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G enables multi-gigabit speed and also supports Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

Another area of the 8cx Gen 2 that Qualcomm highlighted was the improved audio and camera experiences. For audio, the 8cx Gen 2 supports Qualcomm’s ‘Aqstic’ echo cancellation and noise suppression (ECNS) tech. It allows your computer to intelligently focus on and reduce noise from the environment.

As for the camera, the 8cx Gen2 enables PCs to take advantage of high-resolution camera modules. The platform uses Qualcomm’s Spectra image signal processor (ISP) with support for up to 4K HDR and up to 32-megapixel camera. With laptops sporting hardware that makes full use of Spectra, 8cx Gen 2 can make for truly excellent video calls — especially important given the ongoing pandemic.

Qualcomm also notes that devices powered by the 8cx Gen 2 can support dual 4K displays over a single USB-C cable to a dock.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G includes Qualcomm’s AI Engine, which adds AI-powered features like ‘accelerated eye contact’ in video calls and ‘expressive avatars.’

Finally, the new 8cx chip brings support for Microsoft Secure Core PC and Windows Hypervisor, integral tools for IT administrators.

Qualcomm expects the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G to be available in commercial devices in late 2020.

All in all, the 8cx Gen seems like a significant upgrade, at least on paper. Plus, competition seems to be heating up in the PC processor arena. Intel just rolled out new 11th Gen Core CPUs, Apple is working on custom ARM-based chips for its Mac line, AMD’s laptop processors are performing really well and Windows is making strides with ARM. With all this in mind, the next few years could see some major competition between companies, which should make for much better products for consumers.