The computers should also integrate elements of smartphones and have a particularly long battery life. So far, however, no major PC manufacturer has said about Qualcomm’s plans.
First PCs with ARM CPU later this year
This year, there will be Windows PCs based on ARM processors. Chip manufacturer Qualcomm is making plans for a telephone conference on the occasion of the quarterly figures. The first mobile-enabled laptop with Windows 10 and Snapdragon-835 processor is expected to enter the market in the fourth quarter of 2017, as Seeking Alpha reports.
Only x86 processors from Intel and AMD are currently supported by Windows 10. At the end of December 2016, Microsoft announced a version of the operating system for Qualcomm processors to pave the way for new mobile and energy-efficient PCs.
It is compiled natively for execution on Qualcomm CPUs, according to company data. An additional emulation layer can also be used to run classic Win32 desktop applications. In addition, all the enterprise features that are currently integrated in Windows 10 for x86 PCs are also to be available.
At the end of February, Qualcomm said that, together with well-known PC manufacturers, it was working to turn Windows 10 on the system on a chip ‘Snapdragon 835’. Windows RT, Microsoft’s first attempt to bring the desktop operating system to ARM-based PCs is becoming obsolete. “The goal is to produce something reliable and to show people why it is different from RT,” said Keith Kressin, senior vice president and chief product manager at Qualcomm, then.
Microsoft and Smartphones
As Computerworld reports, the so-called Cellular PC is a thin and lightweight device that can be used as a laptop or as a tablet.
But it should also take over design elements of smartphones, including the fast mobile Internet connection. Since the Snapdragon 835 was developed for smartphones, the device should also have a long battery life. Thanks to the powerful Adreno 540 GPU of the Snapdragon 835, the playback of 4K video is also possible. However, so far no well-known PC manufacturer has announced an ARM-based Windows PC.
At possible prices of Cellular PCs, Qualcomm did not provide any information. In February, the company said it wanted an optimal price range, which is in principle no statement. It is, however, to be expected that the pricing is based on premium smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, for which the Snapdragon 835 was originally designed.
Qualcomm hopes to open up a new market, above all higher sales and profits. For Microsoft it would be another possibility to step out of the strong dependency on Intel. In addition, there are also approaches to design ARM as an architect for special data center operations. Microsoft and ARM have already introduced a version of Windows Server running on ARM processors.