While Intel and AMD are the most renowned SoCs running on Windows PCs, Microsoft, in a bid to make their operating system more accessible and efficient have now announced a partnership with Qualcomm to develop Windows 10 and make it compatible in order to run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line-up.
Microsoft had announced sometime last year that the company had planned on making Windows 10 accessible ARM-based processors in order to allow for the usage of desktop apps to ARM processors. The first PCs to develop from this partnership will be running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The reveal happened at the Computex event, currently being held at Taipei, Taiwan. The makers who are set to create these PCs are HP, Asus and Lenovo. These will be the first OEMs to create the first truly mobile PCs, utilizing chips that are meant for smartphones.
The chip that will be used on Windows PCs using Snapdragon processors will not be much different than what users are used to seeing on their phones. Instead, the only key difference is the SKU which is developed to be compatible to Windows PCs. Qualcomm will call its Snapdragon-based PC chips SKU, the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC platform. One of the notable advantages that Snapdragon offers that Intel does not, is better battery life, since the chip itself is smaller than Intel’s and that means there can be more room made to accommodate a bigger battery in the PC. There is also connectivity, which Snapdragon is famous for, which offers high-quality antennas for Wi-Fi and even cellular data. With the Snapdragon 835, PCs will get to access the gigabit-speed LTE
Ars Technica reports that this particular endeavor will note fare as well as badly as Windows RT did but instead, will provide the same computing functions as a regular Windows PC would offer. Windows will be emulated to be compatible with the Snapdragon processor, allowing for 32-bit applications such as Photoshop to run on the platform without any hiccups. Another advantage of the Snapdragon platform is that it offers a smaller motherboard size and in turn, will be able to reduce the weight of the machine quite drastically, allowing for tablets and laptops to be ultra-portable, yet capable still.
This does open up further possibilities as to the potential of mobile-based chips, since Samsung and Nokia have taken turns in creating a PC experience through their Snapdragon-powered phones, offering a desktop version of Windows to the masses. Considering that a mobile processor can be this powerful to run desktop apps shows how far mobile computing has come along, in providing adequate resources and architecture in a small form-factor to run PC applications.