CHIPMAKER Qualcomm has launched the "industry's first" 5G PC component, the Snapdragon 8cx 5G 'platform'.
Unveiled at MWC on Monday, the chipset combines Qualcomm's 7nm Snapdragon 8xc SoC with the firm's newly-announced Snapdragon X55 5G modem, enabling PC makers to offer "always-on" 5G capabilities in their next-gen Windows laptops.
With the X55 onboard, rather than Qualcomm's current-gen X50 modem, the Snapdragon 8cx 5G platform boasts peak download speeds of 2.5Gbps on 4G networks and up to 7Gbps on capable 5G networks.
Qualcomm says it expects to see businesses roll out their own, private 5G networks in their buildings, which "will allow for a more security-rich, high-performance data link for the next generation of connected applications and experiences for the modern connected worker."
The platform will also enable highly responsive multiplayer gaming, immersive 360-degree video and instant apps, the chipmaker boasts. It's is still touting multi-day use, too, but notes that that "battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors."
The bad news is that Qualcomm's X55 modem won't arrive until the end of 2019, which means we won't be seeing any 5G-capable laptops for some time yet; Qualcomm says the first commercial "thin, light and fanless" devices will arrive in between late 2019 and early 2020.
When it does become available, Lenovo will be among the first to offer a 5G-connected PC. The firm's vice president, Johnson Jia says that the platform will enable "better, faster and more seamless experiences for consumers, small businesses and large enterprises," adding that Lenovo will "deliver a 5G connected PC with the Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform in early 2020."
Alex Katouzian, SVP and general manager at Qualcomm, swooned: "Our platforms were the first to bring gigabit, and now multi-gigabit LTE to the PC,"
"We also brought multi-day battery life to the PC, and with the Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform, we innovate once again to bring the best of our computing and connectivity technologies into a single platform to modernize the enterprise."
5G is proving to be the buzzword of the show at this year's MWC; Huawei has touted its Mate X as the 'world's fastest' 5G smartphone and Xiaomi has launched the cheapest 5G handset yet. µ
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