Published on December 5th, 2021 | by Adrian Gunning

Qualcomm Expands Portfolio with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 To Accelerate Mobile Computing

During the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. expanded the portfolio of solutions for Always On, Always Connected PCs with the introduction of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 compute platform, designed to deliver the performance and exceptional experiences users deserve in premium ultra-slim and fanless laptops. To strengthen the entry-tier Windows PC and Chromebook ecosystems with robust 5G connectivity and advanced AI experiences, the Company also unveiled the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Compute Platform. Both platforms utilize smart, connected technology to modernize PC experiences and redefine mobile computing for end users.

“Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 builds on the technology that has transformed the PC industry, delivering premium experiences with breakthrough performance per watt, immersive camera and audio with enhanced AI-acceleration, lightning-fast 5G connectivity, and chip-to-cloud security in thin, fanless systems,” says Miguel Nunes, vice president, product management,
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, we are raising the bar in the entry-tier by extending 5G mobile computing across ecosystems. Whether for consumers, business, or education, Snapdragon compute platforms deliver the capabilities and experiences that our ecosystem customers and end users need.”

Breakthrough Performance Per Watt, for Extreme Performance with Maximum Efficiency 

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 marks the World’s First 5nm PC platform, delivering best-in-class performance and efficiency. Our advanced 5nm process node, combined with other optimizations, allows us to dramatically improve the performance of the Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU, while maintaining similar power consumption to our previous generation, resulting in new levels of efficiency. With the integration of new prime cores, Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 delivers an up to 85% generational performance uplift and up to 60% greater performance per watt over the competitive x86 platform*. This means users will experience premium computing power to work faster in productivity applications with support for up to multiple days of battery life. During GPU-intensive activities, like webbrowsing, video and photo editing, and video conferencing, users will benefit from the graphics and software experiences of the Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU at a staggering performance improvement of up to 60% versus our previous generation. This premium platform also supports gaming at full HD (up to 120 FPS) and is optimized to allow users to game up to 50% longer than certain competing platforms.**

Immersive Videoconferencing and Streaming, With Crystal-Clear Audio and Leading Camera Capabilities 

Video conferencing has become more prevalent, and 8cx Gen 3 continues the innovation of video and audio capabilities, delivering crisp visuals and clear audio that enable incredible experiences available in a laptop. Utilizing the Qualcomm Spectra™ ISP with improved camera start-up time, users can begin video conferences up to 15% faster than with our previous generation. 8cx Gen 3 delivers the latest generation 3A – Auto focus, Auto White Balance, and Auto Exposure – so Teams or Zoom calls adapt to the user’s movement and lighting changes with high quality video. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 enables crystal clear audio in almost any environment, with Qualcomm® Noise and Echo Cancellation technology – part of the Qualcomm® Voice Suite. This feature is enhanced through AI acceleration to improve the clarity and quality of users’ audio. That means that user’s laptop can remove unwanted background sounds such as barking dogs or a neighbor moving their lawn. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 also supports up to 4K HDR camera quality, and up to 4 cameras for new use cases.

Advanced AI-Accelerated Experiences

 In addition to enabling the everyday features users rely on, such as face detection or background blur and audio noise suppression, the built-in AI capabilities of Snapdragon compute platforms at every tier support key power optimization for AI workloads. 8cx Gen 3 delivers an incredible 29+ TOPS of AI acceleration, almost 3X the leading competitive platform, helping users experience more performant AI experiences. With rapid adoption of AI capabilities to accelerate application experiences, users will experience even more advanced security, modern new use cases, and enriching experiences.

Security from the Chip to the Cloud

 Users deserve peace of mind around the security of their data, especially as our digital lifestyles put laptops at the center of working, learning, and connecting. 8cx Gen 3 is architected to deliver security from chip to cloud, introducing a new standard for protecting users’ device and data from malicious activity. In addition to a layered chipsetlevel Secure Boot processes and the security of cellular connectivity, 8cx Gen 3 continues  xo enable Microsoft Secured-core PCs for high-level protection out of the box. For managed systems in the Enterprise or Education segments, the Qualcomm® Secure Processing Unit (SPU) implements Microsoft Pluton TPM for Windows 11 and can also help to securely store sensitive data such as credentials, personal data, and encryption keys directly on the SoC. 8cx Gen 3 also introduces a camera security framework supporting
Windows Hello face login and a dedicated Computer Vision processor for continuous
authentication that helps ensure the user’s device automatically locks when they leave
their machine. 8cx Gen 3 also introduces runtime memory encryption, while Zero Trust
frameworks can use more sensors and connection health monitoring to enable real-time
authentication of access to corporate resources.
The World’s Most Comprehensive Connectivity in a PC Platform
 8cx Gen 3 offers the most robust connectivity for always connected laptops. Support for
Snapdragon X55, X62, or X65 5G Modem-RF systems allow devices powered by 8cx Gen
3 to reach lightning-fast speeds of up to 10 Gbps. 8cx Gen 3 also features Qualcomm®
FastConnect™ 6900 to enable the fastest Wi-Fi 6/6E speeds available – with Wi-Fi Dual
Station, developed in collaboration with Microsoft for Windows 11, utilizing Qualcomm®
4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous technology. Devices powered by 8cx Gen 3 also
seamlessly switch between trusted Wi-Fi 6/6E and 5G or 4G LTE networks for lightningfast,
highly-secure, on-the-go connectivity – perfect for being productive or enjoying
entertainment from anywhere. Combined with the leading efficiency of Snapdragon
compute, these Always Connected capabilities also enable the users’ device to remain
Always On. This means their device can remain up to date and be instant-on, available at
the touch of a button, with virtually no wakeup time.

Delivering a New Level of Entry-Tier Computing
The new Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Compute Platform will enable a new class of entry-tier
devices with exceptional levels of performance and advanced capabilities. Purpose-built for
users across our PC and Chromebook ecosystem, the 6nm 7c+ Gen 3 delivers an up to 60%
faster CPU performance and up to 70% faster GPU performance uplift. The Qualcomm AI
Engine enables AI-accelerated experiences through 6.5 TOPS of performance, which is
unprecedented in the entry tier. The 7c+ Gen 3 also introduces 5G connectivity for the first
time in an entry-level platform, raising the bar of accessible connectivity for affordable
device users. The integrated Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system supports 5G sub-6 and
mmWave– enabling download speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps. The addition of FastConnect 6700
brings multi-gigabit Wi-Fi 6 and 6E with speeds up to 2.9 Gbps. We remain committed to
making connectivity more accessible, and the improved connectivity technology in
Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 will enable fast, advanced, efficient always-connected laptops for a
new level of entry-tier Windows PCs and Chromebooks.

Devices powered by Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 are expected to
launch in 1H22. Learn more about the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 compute platform here [link to
product brief], and more about the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 compute platform here [link to
product brief]. More information on how we are driving innovation for always on, always
connected devices through Snapdragon Compute Platforms can be found here.
*Based on GeekBench 5 multi-thread test comparing Qualcomm Technologies reference
platforms and commercial competitive devices.
**Based on Big Rumble Boxing comparing Qualcomm Technologies reference platforms and
commercial competitive devices.
Battery life varies significantly based on devices, settings, usage, and other factors.
Performance and power tests were conducted by Qualcomm Technologies on Qualcomm
Technologies reference platforms and commercial competitive devices.
Always connected PCs require network connection.
About Qualcomm
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind
the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the
internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our foundational technologies enable the
mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. We bring the benefits
of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and
are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact
Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our
patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated,
operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and
development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses,
including our QCT semiconductor business.

About the Author


Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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