Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 specs page, powerful processor promise, external GPU support


In late 2021, Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, the first 5nm chipset for Windows on ARM devices. It used cores developed by ARM, so its performance is not much different from its Android-powered siblings. But Qualcomm’s acquisition of Nuvia soon paid off with the 8cx Gen 4.

As previously rumored, the company is working on a 12-core chip. According to Kuba Wojciechowski, they are divided into 8 performance cores (~3.4 GHz) and 4 efficiency cores (~2.5 GHz). They are based on Nuvia’s Phoenix design and use the trade name “Oryon” (not “Kryo” like current Android chips).

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 is going to be one hell of a beast. Wojciechowski reports that there will be 12MB of shared L2 cache for each block of 4 cores, plus 8MB of L3 cache, 12MB of system-level cache, and an additional 4MB for graphics.

Up to 64 GB of LPDDR5X RAM is supported in an 8-channel configuration running at 4.2 GHz. Nuvia originally designed the chips for servers (which it still does), and they usually have a lot of RAM.

The onboard Adreno 740 of the chipset will be the same as the GPU 8 Gen 2. However, PCIe 4.0 8-lane is supported for external GPU (remember, v4.0 is twice as fast as PCIe 3.0).

There will be 4 additional PCIe 4.0 lanes for NVMe drives (which can also be configured as two 2x lanes), although 2-lane UFS 4.0 storage (up to 1TB) is supported as a cheaper option. The chip has additional PCIe 3.0 lanes for peripherals such as a Wi-Fi card or modem. The 8cx Gen 4 will not have built-in 5G (unlike its Android counterpart).

The wired connection options look great. The chip supports two 10 Gbps USB 3 ports, as well as three USB 4 (Thunderbolt 4) ports with DisplayPort 1.4a. The latter allows it to handle a 5K + 4K + 4K triple monitor setup.

Some additional information. The Adreno 740 will be suitable for machine learning tasks, as will the updated Hexagon Tensor processor, which can deliver up to 45 TOPS on INT8. The tricky part will be Windows support, but Qualcomm is working with Microsoft and Adobe to figure that out.

The chipset apparently supports video decoding up to 4K/120fps and encoding up to 4K/60fps in various codecs, including AV1 (not available on the Apple M2 chips).

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 is expected in 2024 and should power Windows laptops and tablets (and possibly mini PCs). Qualcomm has promised to reveal more official details about the new chip later this year.

Source | through

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