Rumored Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 could bring a big boost to ARM PCs

Qualcomm recently announced its Snapdragon 850 platform that will power the next generation of ARM-powered Windows 10 PCs, but eyes are already turning to what the company is cooking up next: the Snapdragon 1000. And according to details reported by German blog WinFuture.de, Qualcomm could be readying the rumored platform to go head-to-head with Intel.

Exact specifications are scant at the moment, but WinFuture reports that the Snapdragon 1000 (currently called SDM1000) is already being seeded to developers and manufacturers via a test platform. The kits are equipped with up to 16GB of RAM and two 128GB storage modules, along with support for gigabit network speeds.

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What's interesting about the platform is the way Qualcomm is reportedly planning to position it against Intel's lineup. The chips will be larger than ARM chips we've seen thus far, but still smaller than you'd see in Intel systems. The whole platform is said to run on 12 watts of power draw. Further, rather than soldering the chip directly to the board, the test systems are using a socketed version — something typically seen in desktop PCs.

As Ars Technica points out, the Snapdragon 1000 is expected to be based on ARM's new Cortex-A76 architecture, which the company has positioned as a true rival to Intel's laptop market dominance. Indeed, given the A76's specifications, Windows 10 PCs powered by a Snapdragon 1000 could give Intel's Core Y and U series chips a run for their money.

Built for desktop systems?

Finally, and perhaps more tantalizing is that WinFuture stumbled upon the job description of an employee working on the SDM1000 platform. The description makes references to development for desktop systems, as well as Andromeda and HoloLens. The description reads:

Microsoft Windows Multimedia Project Engineer Oversee and manage all test operations on Qualcomm Snapdragon premium tier chipset SDM845 and SDM1000 for desktop, andromeda, and Hololens AR / VR / mixed reality products in Audio, Video, Display and Camera

It's highly unlikely that we'll see the Snapdragon 1000 in Microsoft's rumored Andromeda folding device or a HoloLens 2, but the job description lends credence to the idea that the chip is being targeted for desktop systems.

Microsoft and Qualcomm have been working hand-in-hand for Windows 10 on ARM, and it looks like the two are only just getting started. The current lineup of systems, including the HP Envy x2 and ASUS NovaGo, are interesting examples of what ARM can do right now. However, expect much more powerful systems to make their mark in the coming months and years.