And laptops are just the beginning of the road for the new Oryon CPU, which will become the primary Qualcomm Arm CPU for all devices, from phones to cars, boasting industry-leading performance and efficiency.
“There is a new sheriff in town!” Cristiano Anon, CEO of Qualcomm, of the new Orion CPU.
Historically, the battle for x86 has been a two-horse race: Intel and AMD. More recently, the Arm-based Qualcomm Snapdragon platform in the Microsoft Surface line has offered an attractive alternative, with built-in 5G, leadership AI performance and exceptional battery life. But despite these advantages, few have jumped at the odd-man-out alternative CPU for Windows laptops. With the new Snapdragon X Elite, that situation may change.
At the Snapdragon Summit this year, Qualcomm unveiled its next-generation Windows 11 CPU, based on a ground-up new Oryon CPU with significant performance improvements and power efficiency. There are over 3 billion Snapdragon devices worldwide today. Qualcomm believes it stands at the cusp of a new era, combining 5G and Generative AI on devices from phones to wearables, cars to factories, and a pervasive feature of modern life.
Snapdragon X Elite
The X Elite has up to twice the performance vs. a 12-core x86 CPU and offers up to 66% better power efficiency. Based on the Oryon CPU architecture acquired from Nuvia, the Snapdragon X Elite offers 12 high-performance cores on TSMC 4nm fabrication, operating at 3.8 GHz., with a dual-core boost to 4.25 GHz. In addition, the X Elite delivers up to 45 Trillion Operations Per Second (TOPS) for AI applications. It can run models like Meta’s Llama2 up to 13 Billion tokens all on-device, reducing the need to access cloud computing resources. Qualcomm has been touting the cost and security advantages of on-device AI for some time now, and we have reviewed it here.
After acquiring Nuvia in January 2021, Qualcomm quickly set its teams to work to apply the power-efficient Nuvia cores into what has become Oryon, and the move seems to have paid off quite nicely. With this move, Qualcomm has reset the performance and power efficiency bar for Windows and put Apple and other Arm designers on notice: this tech will soon come to mobile, cars, XR headsets and other devices, providing performance and multiple days of battery life.
In addition to Microsoft and its Surface PC, Lenovo and HP have also committed to the X Elite. Others can’t be far behind. PCs powered by Snapdragon X Elite will ship from leading OEMs starting mid-2024.
Qualcomm initially showed Stable Diffusion running a 1B parameter model on-device earlier this year, with a 15-second response time. Mr. Anon says that the image generation application can handle that task in less than a second. ‘
And unlike other PCs, a Snapdragon Elite X-powered PC has built-in 5G and WiFi7 connectivity.
Qualcomm also introduced the next generation of mobile Snapdragon CPUs, the Snapdragon 8 gen 3, with 30% faster CPU and 98% better AI performance with the updated NPU. This new mobile CPU is also the first to support image enlargement with Tetras.ai with Truepic authenticity.
For the first time, one of Qualcomm’s OEMs launched a new phone simultaneously with the new Snapdragon chip. Xiaomi 14 was established with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
Qualcomm is not satisfied with the world’s number 2 in mobile CPU technology and is now targeting PCs, cars, XR headsets and other markets. To demonstrate its capabilities, Qualcomm showed a BMW i9 luxury sedan with dozens of Snapdragon SOCs powering displays and autonomous driving features that a $147K car showcase uses to amaze the well-heeled consumer.