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Windows hardware partners now designing ARM cellular PCs

by Mark Tyson on 15 December 2016, 11:01

Tags: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadcb6

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Last week we reported on Windows 10 Enterprise being demonstrated to run smoothly on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 powered device. It wasn't only the OS that appeared to operate slickly, in the published demonstration video, even behemoth desktops apps such as Adobe Photoshop CC, and Windows Store UWP games like World of Tanks Blitz confidently strutted their stuff. "Fast and smooth" repeated video narrator throughout the demonstration.

All this was down to Microsoft's new emulation of x86 on 64-bit ARM processors. While the demo was done on a Snapdragon 820, we hear that the functionality won't be ready for prime-time until the arrival of the Snapdragon 835 and beyond. The announcement of the Microsoft Windows / Qualcomm Snapdragon partnership is a milestone in the creation of the "truly mobile, power efficient, always-connected cellular PC," noted Microsoft's Terry Myerson.

Showing off the 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor

Already Microsoft's traditional hardware partners have taken notice and started to ready 'Cellular PC' devices, reports Taiwanese PC industry journal DigiTimes. Its sources say that many vendors are already designing, and even testing, laptops and tablets powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, running Windows 10.

Cellular PCs should arrive in H2 2017

There are a number of attractions reeling in the device makers. As touted by Terry Myerson, you have the power efficiency and battery life benefits. DigiTimes also thinks that there could be cost benefits making it worthwhile to invest in cellular PC design. With greater differentiation and new form factors sprouting from this Windows 10 innovation, we could see some interesting new devices. It is noted that another WinHEC event is currently taking place in Taipei (as a follow up to the Shenzhen, China event).

The first 'cellular PCs' are expected to debut in summer, just in time for Computex 2017 product launches perhaps.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Let's hope they don't give them piddly little unexpandable 2GB RAM/16GB flash configurations.

I worry that energy efficient will be an excuse for a cheap battery as well.

Hopefully Nvidia will be working on Tegra drivers for Windows 10 already, could make for an interesting next gen Shield console.
Intel won't have been making much per chip from all the Atoms in low powered Window devices, but there would have been reasonable quantity there so this must come as a bit of a blow. I hope AMD haven't invested too much in getting back into the low powered end of the market…
jimbouk
I hope AMD haven't invested too much in getting back into the low powered end of the market…
AMD have been investing in ARM cpu's of late too, maybe they knew something before we did. The competition prize for day 3 is a SoftIron OverDrive 1000 which is running on an AMD Opteron A1100 processor containing a quartet of 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores :)
jimbouk
I hope AMD haven't invested too much in getting back into the low powered end of the market…

AMD Dropped out of the tablet market years ago.

Zen is their entire range now, the Jaguar in current consoles seem to be the last users of the old dual issue cat range.

Nothing stopping a dual core Zen APU going into a tablet, but I don't see AMD putting resource into trying to make it happen.

LSG501
AMD have been investing in ARM cpu's of late too, maybe they knew something before we did. The competition prize for day 3 is a SoftIron OverDrive 1000 which is running on an AMD Opteron A1100 processor containing a quartet of 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores :)

That chip is designed for 10Gbit ethernet and lots of ram, probably wouldn't work well in a tablet.
DanceswithUnix
That chip is designed for 10Gbit ethernet and lots of ram, probably wouldn't work well in a tablet.
True but there's nothing stopping them from developing an arm processor with support for windows 10 etc. They may already be doing so not to mention I'm sure I read somewhere they were trying to add arm cpu's into their gpu's which could be very interesting approach if they're thinking in that way (not saying they are)….