Wednesday , 18 July 2018
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Qualcomm reveals Snapdragon 845 chip ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy S9 launch

CHIP CONSTRUCTOR Qualcomm has taken the covers off its Snapdragon 845 system-on-a-chip (SoC), just ahead of the rumoured January reveal of Samsung’s Galaxy S9. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

Annoyingly, all we know so far is that the Snapdragon 845 is a thing. The chip maker revealed naff-all about the SoC’s specs, noting only that Xiaomi’s next flagship phone will have the Snapdragon 845 at its heart.

So sorry chip nerds, we’re gonna have to keep you hanging for a little longer as Qualcomm plans to reveal the more details of its flagship mobile chipset at its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit this week.

Still reading? Then strap yourself in, as you’ve just entered the speculation zone.

First thing to chew over is the pretty much iron clad feeling that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will come sporting the new chip.

Samsung has used Qualcomm’s top-level SoCs for its flagship phone for the past few generations of Galaxy handsets. Or at least is has for South Korean and US models; UK and European handsets get Samsung’s own Exynos chipset, because reasons.

It’s pretty likely the next LG flagship, the LG G7, will also rock the Snapdragon 845, and later on in the year a potential next-generation Google Pixel phone will have the chipset. Basically, any Android phone worth its salt will have the Snapdragon 845.

But you probably could’ve worked that out all by yourself; you’re reading the INQUIRER, you’re not stupid.

More interesting is the idea that low-end, kinda Chromebook-like, Windows 10 laptops will make use of the Snapdragon 845 to power them instead of opting for an Intel or AMD processor.

Qualcomm has confirmed its plans to bring ‘Always Connected’ PCs that use its chips to run Windows 10, thanks to getting cosy with fellow chip maker AMD.

What’s notable here is Windows 10 at its core has been designed to run on x86 chip architectures created by IBM that form the foundations to every AMD and Intel laptop and desktop processor.

ARM-based mobile chips ranging from Snapdragons to Apple in-house ‘A’ SoCs, use ARM’s reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architectures. This means the instruction sets for getting hardware to play nice with software are completely different.

So Microsoft, Qualcomm and AMD, have likely flexed some pretty solid engineering skills to bring a Windows 10 on an ARM chipset machine to life.

As such, in 2018 we can expect to see a clutch of affordable Windows 10 laptops and hybrid devices that boot-up quickly, have a lengthy battery life and tap into the connectivity capabilities Qualcomm packs its Snapdragons with.

We’re really hoping to see a convertible tablet that runs Windows 10 in laptop mode then flips to Android when in tablet form……come on boffins make it so. µ

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