With a keynote from executive vice president Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm made several significant announcements at its second Snapdragon Summit on late Tuesday. No, there were no new phones. But given the fact that two of the crucial components in a phone are made by Qualcomm – the processor and the wireless connectivity chips – anything that Qualcomm announces is important. In a way, on Tuesday night with his keynote Amon unveiled a future roadmap from Qualcomm that would shape the smartphone market for at least a year or two.
India Today Tech has reported on Qualcomm’s big announcements, but in case you want an easy-to-digest and quick summary of all the big announcements, here is a list.
Snapdragon 845: A successor to the Snapdragon 835 that powers almost all the high-end Android phones this year, the new processor from Qualcomm will be powering the phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi 7 and Pixel 3 in 2018. The Snapdragon 845 seemingly focus on battery life, virtual reality, and video recording. It will be made using Samsung’s 10nm technology. More details of the Snapdragon 845 will be revealed on late Wednesday but for now know that this is the processor that will define your high-end smartphone experience in 2018, whether it is great, good or bad.
Windows 10 on Snapdragon: Finally, there are laptops running Windows 10 using Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. For now, there are two such laptops: the Asus NovaGo and HP Envy X2. Both will be available in early 2018. For the NovaGo, Asus has announced a starting price of $599. The price of the HP one is yet to be revealed. But the important bit about these two laptops is not the price. It is the fact that they run using Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, have support for SIM card with ability to notch up sped of up to 1gbps and offer battery life of more than 20 hours.5G in 2019. Qualcomm calls these laptops always-connected PCs.
5G in 2019: A number of companies are testing 5G networks and devices. Qualcomm too is doing it. As a company that powers majority of devices with a cellular chip in them – these are smartphones – Qualcomm is a key player for 5G. It is now working on smartphones with its hardware partners that will support 5G. Amon says that first of these devices, expected to be high-end phones from companies like Samsung, may come in the second half of 2019. Before that in first half of the 2019 Qualcomm will be working to finalise the 5G standards as well as fine-tune hardware. The mass adoption of 5G, says Qualcomm, should start happening from 2020.
AMD Ryzen with gigabit LTE: What if you want a always-connected laptop with a regular and powerful processor and not the Snapdragon 835. May be next year you will be able to buy one that is powered by AMD Ryzen processor and yet supports SIM card along with 1gbps LTE. This will be possible because AMD and Qualcomm have announced that Qualcomm modems will be integrated by AMD in select laptop processors. The work is already on and in 2018, you should see some laptops with SIM card support that use Ryzen chips.
Gigabit LTE growth: According to Qualcomm, gigabit LTE is the foundation that will support the rollout of 5G. This is basically the LTE networks that can offer speed of up to 1gbps on phones or other devices that use a SIM card. But currently such networks are not available in most of the countries. According to Qualcomm for now the gigabit LTE is offered by only 43 telecom companies in 25 countries. These operators are in the US, Europe, China, Australia and some Latin American countries. In India, currently the gigabit LTE is not offered. But it is expected that in the coming months, the pace of the gigabit rollout is going to increase across the world. With fierce competition in the Indian market, it is even possible that Airtel or Jio may join the gigabit LTE trend, even though they started quite late with 4G aka LTE.
Disclaimer: The reporter’s travel and stay for this event in Maui, Hawaii have been arranged by Qualcomm.