According to a report from Ars Technica, Qualcomm and Microsoft are in cahoots to leverage the former’s latest Snapdragon 835 mobile processor inside Windows-based PCs. The move is in step with Microsoft’s new Windows 10 build for ARM-based processors.
“Qualcomm is now pitching the chips as components of a new PC platform that brings together the best of the PC and the smartphone,” says the report. We can only assume this means some kind of portable and/or convertible and/or hybrid device of the tablet/phablet/laptop variety rather than your conventional desktop PC.
Qualcomm has showcased what’s called the Snapdragon Mobile PC Platform, which incorporates the Snapdragon 835 SoC with the firm’s latest X16 LTE modem on a motherboard that is just slightly over 50cm square; almost half the size of an x86 motherboard.
“Qualcomm claims that using the Snapdragon platform will offer a combination of the PC form factor and breadth of software, with features that are standard in smartphones: on-the-go connectivity, light weight, silent operation, long battery life, and no fan,” the report says.
The firm is also claiming that PCs built using this hardware will see a performance uplift on X86 systems; to the tune of a 50% increase in battery life, and standby times that are 4-5x longer.
“They’ll take the Connected Standby capability already found in some Windows PCs—this allows the system to do things like sync mail and receive notifications even when “sleeping”—and make it better, thanks to their LTE connectivity.”
The idea here is that LTE connectivity will, to some extent, usurp Wi-Fi while users are on the go; you won’t be so dependent on finding a cafe with Wi-Fi or tethering from your phone. The LTE modem is capable of gigabit speeds providing the network in question also supports this.
Qualcomm also name dropped a number of OEMs who are in on the project and expected to announce S835-based PCs in the near future, amongst them Lenovo, Asus, and HP.
Reportedly these will all be laptops or “laptop-style”. A key appeal here is that with the smaller motherboard size, OEMs can either further reduce the size and weight of their devices, making them even more portable, or stuff bigger battery cells inside for longer lifespans.
Potentially other useful tech could also be crammed into the space normally taken up by the rest of the motherboard.