With a focus on smaller form factor, energy efficiency, and low heat production, it’s no wonder that ARM-based chips are the dominant force in mobile and small electronic devices, unlike x86 processors commonly used in PCs and laptops, with the primary focus being high-end performance and clock speeds.
Back in 2017 both Microsoft and Qualcomm first introduced WoA (Windows on ARM) to open up new possibilities for manufacturers. Leveraging the capabilities that ARM-based chips could bring to Windows laptops does seem exciting indeed, who wouldn’t want better battery life, or instantly waking their device for example?
However, the performance of the first few WoA devices was subpar in comparison to the x86 competition, but these ARM chips have come a long way since then, and the same goes for the ecosystem and app support, with full native or x64 emulation support that Microsoft added to Windows 11.
We now have devices like the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s which runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip, bringing huge performance upgrades over its predecessors, with up to 85% faster CPU performance, and up to 60% GPU compute performance improvement.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 comes with an 8-core CPU (Four Cortex-X1 performance cores + four Cortex-A78 efficient cores), which is a hybrid architecture similar to what Intel does since 12th-gen Alder Lake processors.
Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 ‘Hamoa’ Specs Leaked
Qualcomm has been working on pushing the boundaries of ARM-based chips for desktops, with a recent leak claiming that the upcoming 8cx Gen 4 chip could rival the M1 and M2 series from Apple.
Over on Twitter, developer and leaker Kuba Wojciechowski (@Za_Raczke) shared new details about Qualcomm’s Gen 4 codenamed ‘Hamoa’, According to the information shared, Qualcomm is working on an SoC (System-on-a-chip) with the flagship model offering a 12-core CPU tile, with a configuration of 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.
Furthermore, Wojciechowski indicated that this is not the only model the company is working on, so we could see multiple models with different core counts/configurations.
The CPU will utilize Phoenix-based Oryon cores from the recently acquired NUVIA, the performance cores boost up to 3.4 GHz, while the efficient cores have their max boost clocks capped at 2.5 GHz.
Additionally, there is 8 MB of L3 cache, with 12 MB of L2 cache available to each four-core block on the CPU, making up to 36 MB of L2 cache in total, with an additional 12 MB of system-level cache. In terms of memory, the Hamoa will support up to 64 GB of LPDDR5x with optional low-power features at up to 4.2GHz.
As for the GPU, Wojciechowski claims that the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 will use the Adreno 740 GPU, which is the same one used in the previous Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, offering support for DirectX 12, Vulkan 1.3, OpenCL as well as DirectML. The chip also provides support for discrete GPUs with 8 lanes of PCIe 4.0.
Moreover, Qualcomm has been working with Microsoft and Adobe for a while now to leverage AI acceleration capabilities on Windows 11, the company has reportedly improved the Hexagon Tensor processor on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 to provide up to 45 TOPS of AI performance.