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Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 850 processor at Taiwan expo

Qualcomm (QCOM) has unveiled a new Snapdragon 850 processor, specifically for Windows devices, at the Computex 2018 conference in Taiwan. Meanwhile, Samsung will reportedly be the first company to use this chip in an upcoming 2-in-1 convertible PC.

The new processor, which is a customized version of the Snapdragon 845, is designed for use in devices bigger than smartphones – including laptops, convertibles, and PCs. The 850 supports ARM processors, HDR displays and 4K capture through the onboard camera, artificial intelligence engine, and X20 LTE modem that enables up to 1.2 Gbps transfer speed. It also comes with long battery life that can last up to 25 hours.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

PC makers are likely to roll out computers or laptops with the 850 processor by the holiday season this year. The 850 also stands out as the second processor designed for Always Connected PCs after the 835, which came out last spring.

Meanwhile, Samsung is getting set to utilize the new chipset and has already announced that it would build a 2-in-1 Windows-powered convertible, similar to the existing Galaxy Book.

Crucial launch

In the recently completed second-quarter, Qualcomm’s earnings took a hit, hurt by a legal tussle with Apple (AAPL) over the alleged unfair licensing practice. For the past few years, Qualcomm has faced a rough patch. Even though it escaped a hostile takeover bid from Broadcom (AVGO), its stock was hurt badly. Adding to its woes was the trade ban imposed on Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp.

The company is now taking steps to ramp up its operations and boost its earnings through a $1 billion cost-cutting plan that includes layoffs. Qualcomm’s launch of the chipset is perceived as a way to compensate the revenue lost due to the trade war. The launch is therefore crucial for the company, and the sales trend will possibly depict the chipmaker’s future course.

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