Alleged Qualcomm Snapdragon SC8280 SoC To Battle Apple M1, Supports 32GB RAM For Windows

Qualcomm Snapdragon
Windows 10 on Arm is off to a relatively slow start, but the hope is that PCs using Qualcomm's Snapdragon-based SoCs will eventually grow to account for a healthy portion of the market that is now dominated by Intel and AMD processors. Currently, most Windows 10 on Arm devices are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx or 8cx Gen 2 SoC. However, Qualcomm is of course working on a successor, which is reportedly being developed under the internal name SC8280.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 didn't offer much in terms of improved performance over its predecessor, but did include optional 5G connectivity. The Snapdragon SC8280, on the other hand, is expected to offer a substantial uplift in performance. While the Snapdragon 8cx/8cx Gen 2 share much in common with the 2018-era 7nm Snapdragon 855, we would assume that the Snapdragon SC8280 would be more akin to the newly released Snapdragon 888, which is manufactured on the 5nm process node. The Snapdragon 888 uses a single Cortex-X1 prime core, three Cortex-A78 high-performance cores and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores.

qualcomm snapdragon 8cx gen 2 5g compute platform chip image

According to reporting from WinFuture, the Snapdragon SC8280 will support up to 8GB of LPDDR5 memory, while developer boards have shown support for up to 32GB of LPDDR4x memory. There are reportedly two version of the chip, including a base config and a high-performance config. It's also alleged that the new chip will be available with more cores than the Snapdragon 8cx, which means that the high-performance config could potentially come with 12 or more cores.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 currently ships with a Snapdragon X55 5G modem, but we'd hope that the Snapdragon SC8280 would have an integrated solution this time around, negating the need for a standalone chip. The Snapdragon 888 includes an integrated Snapdragon X60 5G modem, so perhaps Qualcomm will go down the same road for its next-generation Windows 10 on Arm chip.

Apple MacBook Air

The reports of this new Snapdragon SC8280 come at a time when Apple has drawn considerable attention for its first PC-caliber SoC: the M1. The M1 is found in Apple's latest Mac mini, MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro in 8-core CPU configurations with either a 7-core or 8-core GPU. Systems can be configured with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM at this time, which has been a limiting factor for professionals that want to adopt Apple's speedy new chip.