Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Qualcomm launched Snapdragon X Plus, aiming to bring high-speed and efficient ARM chipsets to Windows laptops.
  • Snapdragon X Plus has similar performance to the flagship X Elite, featuring an Oryon CPU, Adreno GPU, and Hexagon NPU.
  • The NPU capabilities of Snapdragon X Plus for on-device AI applications surpass Apple’s latest M3 chipset and offer offline functionality.


While we’re still waiting for the first Windows laptops powered by the Snapdragon X Elite, Qualcomm has introduced another addition to its ARM chipset lineup: the Snapdragon X Plus. The new Snapdragon X Plus sits a tier below the Snapdragon X Elite platform and aims to bring a similar level of performance and efficiency to a wider range of products.

For years, Apple’s Macs have been much faster their Windows counterparts in speed and efficiency, thanks to their ARM-based M-series chipsets. Qualcomm aims to achieve a similar feat with its Snapdragon X series for Windows laptops. The company launched its flagship Snapdragon X Elite chipset late last year, and now ahead of the first batch of Snapdragon X series laptops, the company has unveiled Snapdragon X Plus.


Snapdragon X plus laptop


Snapdragon X Plus: Technical Specifications

Feature

Snapdragon X Plus

Process Node

4nm

CPU

Qualcomm Oryon CPU:

  • 64-bit
  • 10 cores, up to 3.4 GHz

GPU

Adreno GPU (up to 3.8 TFLOPs)

NPU

Qualcomm Hexagon NPU (up to 45 TOPs)

VPU

Qualcomm Adreno Video Processing Unit:

  • Encode: 4K60 10-bit encode – H.264, HEVC (H.265), AV1
  • Decode: 4K120 10-bit decode – H.264, HEVC (H.265), VP9, AV1

Memory

LPDDR5x up to 64 GB, 135 GB/s bandwidth

Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

Wi-Fi 7 / 6E/ 6, Bluetooth 5.4

USB

USB4

Camera

Qualcomm Spectra ISP:

  • Dual-cameras up to 36 MP
  • Single camera up to 64 MP
  • 4K HDR video capture

Cellular Modem

Snapdragon X65 5G Modem, up to 10 Gbps download speeds


The Snapdragon X Plus shares many similarities with its flagship counterpart. It’s built on the same 4nm node process and features the same Oryon CPU (10 cores), albeit clocked slightly lower at 3.4GHz. Qualcomm claims it’s 10% faster in multi-thread CPU performance compared to Apple’s M3 and 37% faster than Intel Core Ultra 7 155H. The chipset also supports high-speed RAM with up to 135 GB/s bandwidth and up to 64GB LPDDR5x memory.

In terms of GPU, the Snapdragon X Plus features the same Adreno GPU found in Snapdragon mobile platforms, delivering up to 3.8 TFLOPS performance. Qualcomm says the GPU supports up to one HDR10 internal display at UHD resolution and 120Hz refresh rate and up to triple UHD 60Hz external displays with HDR10. The company also adds that the Adreno GPU in X Plus matches the performance of Intel’s Core Ultra 7 155H processor at half the power consumption.


Now, let’s talk about the NPU inside the Snapdragon X Plus. The Snapdragon X Plus includes the same Hexagon NPU as the X Elite, offering up to 45 TOPS for efficient on-device AI-driven applications. For comparison, Apple’s latest M3 chipset only offers up to 18 TOPS. Qualcomm showcased a demo wherein a laptop powered by the Snapdragon X Plus was able to generate code inside the Visual Studio Code using Codegen completely on-device. The NPU was also demonstrated generating live captions for 100 spoken languages using Whisper on-device.

These features usually require a cloud server-powered AI service, but Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Plus is able to perform most of these tasks offline. As for the connectivity, the Snapdragon X Plus offers Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, similar to the X Elite. The X Elite chip also supports cellular connectivity, offering up to 10Gbps speeds thanks to the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem.


The launch of Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus makes it clear that the company is mirroring its approach of the smartphone processor market. Just as it caters to various budgets with its smartphone chipsets, Qualcomm aims to provide options for laptop manufacturers, and have them ready just in time for launch. While we don’t have an exact date for the release of Snapdragon X Plus-based laptops, Qualcomm says they’ll hit the market around the same time as devices powered by the Snapdragon X Elite, starting in mid-2024.

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