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Qualcomm’s M1 Competitor to Feature Ultra-High-Performance ‘Gold+’ Cores & Integrated NPU


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It was reported a while back that Qualcomm was testing an M1 competitor internally called SC8280, and it would power future Windows 10 notebooks. Not a whole lot of info was divulged the last time we talked about this custom silicon, but additional details make the SoC sound exceptionally interesting, especially when Qualcomm is now said to be testing much higher performing core variations called Gold+. Here is a closer look at those details.


Qualcomm Is Currently Testing out Samples Where Gold+ Cores’ Clock Speed Speeds Are Running at 3.00GHz

The unnamed Snapdragon chipset could be the first where Qualcomm moves away from a combination of high-performing and energy-efficient cores. Instead, there might be future SoCs where all we get are high-performance cores running at different clock speeds. On this occasion, WinFuture reports that the Snapdragon SC8280 is currently being tested with four Gold+ and four Gold cores.


The chipset is still closely related to the Snapdragon 8cx, but we should expect some hefty single-core and multi-core improvements. After all, the M1 comfortably beats the Snapdragon 8cx, even when running in Windows virtualization mode, where the M1’s performance is reduced by a decent margin, so Qualcomm will be looking to top that or match those numbers. The Gold+ cores are apparently running at 2.70GHz, while the Gold cores are operating at 2.43GHz.



In some samples, Qualcomm is testing clock speeds of 3.00GHz, possibly to set the best limit that delivers optimum performance without sacrificing battery life. Remember, Apple’s M1 chip allows the new portable Macs to have battery life in high double-digits, so Qualcomm will likely want to achieve the same figure, or at the very least, close to it without engineering a chip that feels sluggish when running a CPU intensive task in Windows 10.


Fortunately, it looks like Qualcomm’s M1 competitor will be able to cleverly adjust its performance and efficiency profiles thanks to an integrated NPU. According to the latest report, this NPU should be able to work up to 15 TOPs. Sadly, there is no word on which company intends to use this Snapdragon chipset and which device would be the first to showcase what it is capable of.





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