New Qualcomm Snapdragon laptop chip leaks — here’s how it will take on Apple M1

snapdragon 8cx gen 2
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

It’s been a busy few months for laptop chips, with Apple releasing machines powered by its own M1 processors and Microsoft reportedly looking at making chips of its own. But long before other companies started dabbling in processors, Qualcomm had brought its chip-making skills to notebooks, with an eye toward making the components to power always-connected laptops.

Now rumors are picking up that Qualcomm is working on the next version of its Snapdragon 8cx chipset for laptops. And this generation could feature two unique variants of this chip, aimed at boosting processing power.

That’s the word according to WinFuture which reports that these still-unannounced Snapdragon 8cx chips would rely on ARM-based tech and offer varying levels of performance without energy-saving cores. The idea with this update would be to remove any specific power restraints in a bid to go for raw, all-out power. 

Of the two chipsets, WinFuture reports that the punchier of the two will come featuring four high-end cores clocked at 2.43GHz in addition to four so-called Gold+ series cores that reach 2.7GH, though some versions also allegedly include 3GHz clocks as well. This premium performance angle will likely find Qualcomm looking to bring its tech to higher-end laptops and ultrabooks.

There are additional versions of the chipsets said to include RAM configurations with 32GB and support displays up to 14 inches. There are few additional details on other specs pertaining to the potential processor upgrades. But the most interesting development by far is the news that Qualcomm would think to drop the low power cores from the 8cx successor. Qualcomm has yet to comment on the situation, and there are no official announcements on the matter. 

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 debuted last fall, and it’s since found its way into a variety of laptops, including the HP Elite Folio and Acer Spin 7. Previous versions of the 8cx powered the world’s first 5G-connected laptop, the Lenovo Flex 5G.

If WinFuture’s reports come to pass, the next iteration of Qualcomm’s 8cx chipset will be powerful indeed. It’s unclear from the report just when those chips will surface, let alone which machines will feature them.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.