LAS VEGAS — Qualcomm launched the latest version of its widely used Snapdragon mobile processor line today, laying the foundation for a new class of devices — including some running the full version of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.
“That’s not Windows 10 with an asterisk,” promised Keith Kressin, Qualcomm senior vice president for product management, announcing the Snapdragon 835 during a media briefing here this afternoon in the build-up to the big Consumer Electronics Show.
That was a reference to previous, largely unsuccessful, efforts by Microsoft and its partners to offer a stripped-down version of Windows 8 for Snapdragon and other ARM processors.
Microsoft and Qualcomm last month announced plans to bring the full version of Windows 10 to ARM processors, part of a broader effort to expand Windows to a new class of devices. Microsoft will use emulation technology to allow Windows 10 on ARM to run x86 Win32 apps such including Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, among many others.
Qualcomm and Samsung announced the Snapdragon 835 in November but saved many of the key details about the new processor until the CES briefing today.
With the Snapdragon 835 release, Qualcomm says it’s upgrading the widely used mobile processor line in a smaller chip that promises better battery life, 25 percent faster graphics to support virtual and augmented reality experiences, 3D audio, upgraded security with biometrics integration, and support for gigabit-class wireless speeds.
The chip also supports emerging artificial intelligence scenarios. “We want to make sure that any machine learning algorithm … can be done as efficiently as possible,” Kressin said.
The new processor is “not just going to be in smartphones,” he said, citing tablets, IP cameras, and VR and AR devices, including Windows 10 machines. The first commercial devices running the new Snapdragon 835 will ship in the first half of this year, he said.