Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite is an AI-powered PC processor

6 min read


Qualcomm unveiled its most powerful computing processor for PCs, the Snapdragon X Elite. In doing so, it’s taking on the hegemony of Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

This platform marks a significant advancement for Qualcomm in going after high-end PC computing, offering better CPU performance, on-device AI inferencing capabilities, and good power efficiency for extended battery life. It’s targeted at Windows 11 PCs and mobile devices.

Speaking at the Snapdragon Summit in Maui, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said AI will have a profound impact on how you use your devices – and how Snapdragon can offer on-device AI experiences across a broad range of consumer electronics categories.

“We’re super excited to share the first of this series,” said Peter Burns, senior marketing director at Qualcomm, in a press briefing. “This is probably one of the most pivotal platform announcements in the company’s recent history. Snapdragon X Elite is a premium [system-on-chip] SoC designed to revolutionize Windows PCs. It’s the culmination of our vision for what a compute processor should be. This is performance for the PC ecosystem. Snapdragon X Elite is the most powerful, intelligent and efficient processor for Windows in its class.”


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Snapdragon X Elite details.

With the rise of AI transforming PC interactions, the Snapdragon X Elite is designed to support the future’s intelligent and power-intensive tasks, enabling enhanced productivity, creativity, and immersive entertainment experiences from any location, Qualcomm said.

The Snapdragon X Elite platform is equipped with the custom integrated Qualcomm Oryon CPU, which delivers up to twice the CPU performance compared to the competition, while consuming only one-third of the power, Qualcomm said. This remarkable CPU performance enables seamless multitasking and empowers users to accomplish more efficiently, the company said.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite is coming in mid-2024.

“Snapdragon X Elite represents a dramatic leap in innovation for computing as we deliver our new, custom Qualcomm Oryon CPU for super-charged performance that will delight consumers with incredible power efficiency and take their creativity and productivity to the next level,” said Kedar Kondap, SVP of compute and gaming at Qualcomm, in a statement. “Powerful on-device AI experiences will enable seamless multitasking and new intuitive user experiences, empowering consumers and businesses alike to create and accomplish more.”

Snapdragon X Elite is specifically engineered for AI, showcasing the ability to run generative AI models with over 13 billion parameters on-device. Qualcomm’s AI leadership is further reinforced with the platform offering 4.5 times faster AI processing power compared to competitors, Qualcomm said. The integration of powerful on-device AI experiences will unlock new intuitive user experiences and revolutionize multitasking capabilities.

“Snapdragon X Elite delivers up to two times the performance compared to our competitors most widely adopted 10- and 12-core laptop CPUs, and it can match their peak performance with as little as a third of the power for incredible battery life,” Burns said.

The Oryon CPU has 12 high performance cores running at up to 3.8GHz. It is tuned for optimizing sustained compute intensive workloads like video transcoding, large dataset analysis or code compilation, while still offering good battery life, he said. It also hasa new dual-core boost feature so you can have two high-performance cores kick up to 4.25 gigahertz for ultra fast responsiveness.

“It’s got game-changing CPU, GPU and NPU performance and incredible power efficiency, which will deliver leading battery life,” Burns said. “It’s built for AI supercharged new experiences coming and features the most modern and advanced mobile technologies to make the PC experience smart.”

Qualcomm anticipates leading computer makers will release PCs powered by Snapdragon X Elite starting in mid-2024. These PCs will deliver exceptional performance, extended battery life, and enhanced AI capabilities, catering to the evolving needs of consumers and businesses alike.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is coming for mobile devices.

Qualcomm also announced its premium mobile processor platform, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

As the premium Android smartphone processor leader, Qualcomm said its latest processor will be adopted for flagship devices by global OEMs and smartphone brands including Asus, Honor, iQOO, Meiz, Nio, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, realme, Redmi, RedMagic, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE.

“Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 infuses high-performance AI across the entire system to deliver premium-level performance and extraordinary experiences to consumers. This platform unlocks a new era of generative AI enabling users to generate unique content, help with productivity, and other breakthrough use cases.” said Chris Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets, Qualcomm, in a statement. “Each year, we set out to design leading features and technologies that will power our latest Snapdragon 8-series mobile platform and the next generation of flagship Android devices. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 delivers.”

Snapdragon Seamless

Snapdragon Seamless is a cross-platform technology that allows Android, Windows and Snapdragon
devices using other operating systems to discover each other and share information to work as one
integrated system.

Each U.S. household now has on average 21 different digital devices, according to Deloitte’s 2023
Connected Consumer survey – and frequently, they don’t talk to each other all that well, especially if
they’re from different manufacturers.

This can reduce consumer choice and create lock-in where consumers feel stuck with one manufacturer so their devices can work together. With Snapdragon Seamless, device manufacturers and OS partners can enhance and extend their multi-device experiences.

For example, mice and keyboards can work seamlessly across PCs, phones and tablets. Files and windows can be dragged and dropped across different types of devices. Earbuds can switch intelligently based on the priority of an audio source. And XR can extend the abilities of smartphones.

“Snapdragon Seamless fundamentally breaks down the barriers between OEMs, devices and operating
systems. It’s the only cross-device system to truly put the user first,” said Dino Bekis, VP and GM,
wearables and mixed signal solutions at Qualcomm, in a statement.

Snapdragon Seamless is incorporated into the company’s mobile platforms, including its newest premium mobile platform, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3; the newest premium PC platform, Snapdragon X Elite; as well as wearable and hearable platforms.

Snapdragon Seamless will extend to XR, Auto and IoT platforms in the future. Xiaomi, Microsoft, Google, Honor, OPPO, Dell and Lenovo, among others, are all collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies to enable multi-device experiences using Snapdragon Seamless for global device platforms – starting as early as this year.

New audio experiences

Qualcomm will power a new generation of earbuds.

Qualcomm also announced the Qualcomm S7 and S7 Pro Gen 1 Sound platforms. Designed for earbuds, headphones, and speakers, these are Qualcomm’s most advanced audio platforms, which with the combination of high-performance, low power compute, on-device AI, and advanced connectivity will ignite a new era of audio innovation to deliver breakthrough user experiences, the company said.

The S7 Pro also includes micro-power Wi-Fi to extend the range of audio devices far beyond what is possible today using only Bluetooth – allowing users to walk around a home, building or campus while listening to music or making calls.

“These platforms set a new benchmark for high-performance sound at ultra-low power. They are packed with premium technologies that work together with on-device AI to deliver immersive and personalized audio experiences wherever you go – whether in a meeting, socializing, gaming, listening to music or just needing some quiet time,” Bekis, in a statement. “The S7 Pro Platform with our micro-power Wi-Fi and revolutionary Qualcomm XPAN technology further transforms the sound experience by enabling whole home and building audio coverage, support for up to 192kHz multi-channel lossless music streaming and enhanced multi-channel spatial audio for gaming.”

The Snapdragon Sound technology is featured in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile
Platform and Snapdragon X Elite and when paired with a device powered by the S7 or S7 Pro
platforms consumer will experience sound in way that has not been possible until now.

Qualcomm’s latest State of Sound Report found that premium audio experiences are front of mind for
listeners, with 73% of respondents stating, “I make sure that sound quality on my devices gets better and better with every purchase.” Demand for music quality is also at an all-time high, with 69% of respondents listing lossless audio quality as a purchase driver for their next set of earbuds.

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