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New leak says Qualcomm is making a powerful chip for Windows 10 laptops

Published Oct 15th, 2018 7:06PM EDT
Snapdragon 8180 vs. A12 Bionic
Image: DENIS POROY/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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A couple of leaks this summer revealed that Qualcomm might be working on a brand new Snapdragon high-end platform that would power computers instead of smartphones and tablets. We now have more details about the chip that will rival Intel-based Windows 10 laptops, as well as the A12 Bionic chip that will power the next generation of iPad Pros.

Last year’s Snapdragon 835 was used for both high-end Android smartphones and tablets, as well as Windows 10 laptops. At the time, I told you that the Snapdragon 845-powered Windows 10 machines of 2018 would be even better. Qualcomm this year did things differently, launching the Snapdragon 850 platform made specifically for Windows laptops. The Snapdragon 845, meanwhile, powers only high-end Android devices. But Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1000, set to come out next year, sounds really exciting.

At least that’s the name we’re using for this rumored Qualcomm chip made for Windows 10 devices. A new WinFuture report from the same Roland Quandt, who previously shared details about the Snapdragon 1000 chip, says the new processor will have a different name next year. That’s the Snapdragon 8180, a 7nm chip that’s currently in testing.

The new system-on-chip (SoC) will feature an eight-core design based on Cortex-A55 and Cortex-A76 architecture. Four Gold clocks will reach speeds of 3.0GHz and beyond, while the Silver clocks will run at 1.8GHz. The package also contains support for faster LPDDR4X memory, which should further improve performance.

The Snapdragon 8180 platform will also bring over a brand new GPU, Qualcomm’s Adreno 680, and a neural processing unit, the NPU-130, as it’s referred to in the report.

The chip will be significantly bigger than mobile processors, which is something we’ve heard before. In total, it’ll pack over 8.5 billion transistors, the report notes, and it’ll have a TDP of 15W.

It’s unclear what Windows 10 laptop maker will be the first to make use of the new Snapdragon platform, but Asus is rumored to launch a “Primus” laptop in the future. The 8180 should be unveiled in December.

Comparatively, Apple’s recently launched 7nm A12 Bionic chip that powers all 2018 iPhones features a six-core CPU, quad-core GPU, eight-core Neural Engine, LPDDR4X RAM support, and packs 6.9 billion transistors. We don’t know anything for certain, but it sure sounds powerful enough to power a Mac.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.