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article imageNew laptop to be equipped with Qualcomm processor Snapdragon 835

By Ken Hanly     Oct 18, 2017 in Technology
San Diego - Microsoft revealed new details about its ARM-powered Windows 10 laptops. The laptops will be powered by a Qualcomm chip rather than by Intel or AMD. The new laptops should be on the market by this December.
Asus, HP, and Lenovo who all make laptops are also preparing new devices. Battery life appears to be a key selling point for the new laptops. ARM, originally Acorn RISC Machine but now Advanced RISC Machine is reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture for computer processors.
The U.K. company ARM Holdings develops the architecture and then licences it to other companies who design their own products that implement the architectures including systems-on-chips(SoC) and systems-on-modules (SoM). The firm also designs cores to implement designs that are licenced to companies to incorporate into their products. As of 2017 ARM was the most widely used instruction set architecture in terms of number produced at over 100 billion.
The laptops will run on the Snapdragon 835 chipset, the same mobile processor that is now used in many phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG V30. Qualcomm claims of the chipset: " The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform can support phenomenal mobile performance. It is 35 percent smaller and uses 25 percent less power than previous designs, and is engineered to deliver exceptionally long battery life, lifelike VR and AR experiences, cutting-edge camera capabilities and Gigabit Class download speeds."
Qualcomm is a US-based multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company. It designs and markets wireless telecommunications products and services. Most of its revenue comes from chipmaking and its profit from patent licensing. The company has headquarters in San Diego California but 224 different locations worldwide.
A battery life that dreams are made of
Pete Bernard a Microsoft program manager claimed that the laptop would have a multi-day battery life: “To be frank, it’s actually beyond our expectations. We set a high bar for [our developers], and we’re now beyond that. It’s the kind of battery life where I use it on a daily basis. I don’t take my charger with me. I may charge it every couple of days or so. It’s that kind of battery life.”
Microsoft hopes that the new laptops will not have the issues that emerged when Microsoft used ARM with Windows earlier: "Microsoft previously promised great battery life with ARM-powered Windows RT devices, but that largely fell short. RT was a messy and confusing experiment that included a desktop mode that couldn’t run traditional desktop apps, and Microsoft will be keen to avoid any issues again." The new laptop will be able to run traditional desktop apps as shown on the appended video.
Holiday release
The new laptop should be out by Christmas this year. Don McGuire VP of Global Product Marketing at Qualcomm said: “In December last year, [we] set a timeline for one year out, that we would be able to announce devices. We are still moving towards that timeline. I think that expectation will be met. You’ll be hearing more from us over the next coming weeks regarding that.”
Hundreds of the new Snapdragon-powered laptops are being tested at Microsoft headquarters. Pete Bernard of Microsoft said that his group had been working on the project for almost a year and were working furiously both at Redmond and with partners at Qualcomm in San Diego in California. In time, there may be cheaper versions of the laptops.
Bernard said: “Over time, there’s going to be a portfolio of devices from manufacturers. We’ve had some conversations with other OEMs too, for future devices, that are very exciting about bringing their own spin.” Bernard said that eventually there will be a range of different devices with varying prices. While it is claimed that the new laptop will be a game changer, it remains to be seen how the laptop will sell and if it meets stiff competition from other manufacturers.
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