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Microsoft Windows Hardware

Specs of Qualcomm's First ARM Processor Capable of Running Windows 10 Leaks (mspoweruser.com) 107

Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 835's specs have leaked ahead of its CES reveal. An anonymous reader writes: According to the leaked press release, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 sports the Qualcomm Kryo 280 CPU (quad-core), Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU, and Qualcomm Hexagon DSP to manage the different workloads. All of this combined together will result in a 27% increase in performance when compared to the previous generation. Qualcomm is also making significant improvements with the Snapdragon 835 when it comes to power consumption. To be precise, the Snapdragon 835 consumes 40% less power than the older generation which is supposed to offer the following: "1+ day of talk time, 5+ days of music playback, and 7+ hours of 4K video streaming. Should your phone need more power, Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 provides five hours of battery life for five minutes of charging." Qualcomm stated in the press release that the Snapdragon also comes with substantial improvements to the graphics rendering and virtual reality. According to the company, the Snapdragon 835 includes "game-changing" enhancements to improve audio, intuitive interactions, and vibrant visuals. The processor also offers 25 percent faster 3D graphic rendering and produces 60X display colors than the Snapdragon 820.
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Specs of Qualcomm's First ARM Processor Capable of Running Windows 10 Leaks

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  • by itsme1234 ( 199680 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @04:34AM (#53596245)

    ... too.

    If you don't believe me just visit for example: https://www.microsoft.com/en/m... [microsoft.com]

    So we really have now for a while many Snapdragon products running Windows 10. Is just not the Windows 10 that's hard to run...

    I don't know what the marketing apes were thinking.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Marketing types don't think.

      They just turn the drivel sputed by their PHB into acceptable lies for the rest of us

    • The branding of Windows has really sucked ever since Windows 8 came out. You had Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8... and the total confusion whether they run Wintel software as well.

      It's high time they rebranded all ARM versions of Windows under a single flag. Call it version 10 if they want to for parity reasons, but call it something other than Windows. Retain the Windows brand for x86.

  • Other way around (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Henriok ( 6762 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @04:45AM (#53596269)
    There doesn't seem to be anything in particular with this SoC that's been tailored to run Windows, so the premise of the article is turned upside down. It isn't the SoC that's capable of running Windows, it's Windows capable of running on this particular SoC. If they can get Windows running on this, then they could get Windows running on about any ARMv8 based device, given device specific drivers.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If they can get Windows running on this, then they could get Windows running on about any ARMv8 based device

      Maybe not. They're going to be running x86 emulation on it [youtube.com] to support Win32 desktop applications.

      • This (...emulation, ....32 bit apps...) sounds like a step backwards. Aren't the latest ARM chips 64 bit? What are all those "unused 32 bits" doing to make the emulation work? Sounds like a kluge to me.
        • ..and it's always been _the_ most important part of Windows. Backward- compatibility which allows all the existing programs to work is exactly why Windows remains widely used today. If Windows 10 only allowed those "universal applications" applications made for it then it would probably have close to zero users and installations.

          Windows RT ran on ARM and it was an epic failure because you couldn't run software made for Windows XP or Windows 7 or other older Windows platforms on it. Now Microsoft is trying
          • There seems to be a lot of 64 bit software out there, though. Something like Photoshop does have some kind of 32 bit mode, but I'd guess it's the kind of app for heavy duty desktop systems with lots of RAM. My understanding is that 32 bit Windows only allows access to 4 GBytes of RAM so for apps that need lots of data occupying RAM while in use, plus the RAM for the OS, the ARM 32 bit Windows solution will not be useful. The amount of data swapping from a disk drive or RAM disk in such cases will slow thing
    • If they can get Windows running on this, then they could get Windows running on about any ARMv8 based device, given device specific drivers.

      And HAL
    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Perhaps this chip has additional registers for performance? Not really much to go on at this point.
  • Wow, that REALLY would be a trick considering Windows 10 runs on x86 nor ARM architecture. That'd actually pretty much be magic.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That'd actually pretty much be magic.

      Or just good software engineering. They have an x86 emulator [youtube.com] to support Win32 desktop applications.

  • I bet.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z80a ( 971949 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @05:10AM (#53596329)

    It can run much better OSes as well.

  • Do you know of any 64-bit ARM single-board computers with 4 GiB of RAM or more?

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      No, and even if I did, it still wouldn't have SATA, USB3, and the other things that would be necessary for it to be of any use.

      • Here's one [kickstarter.com]. 4GB RAM, SATA, USB3, DP+HDMI that can do real multi-head, 2*PCIe (only M.2 connectors but compatible with adapters to regular PCIe), and so on.

        • How is the kernel support in Linux-land? This is commonly a problem for both allwinner and rockchip

  • Does it run the rest of the software, too? I mean, don't get me wrong, it's actually amazing that it can handle all the bullshit baggage Win10 comes along with, usually malware doesn't run nicely on systems it wasn't designed for, so it's generally a good sign for compatibility if the leaky shit runs, but ... I don't know, I still wouldn't use it as advertising material.

  • by the_crowbar ( 149535 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:24AM (#53596653)

    The headline mentions Windows 10, but the posts here seem to look toward Windows 10 Mobile (the phone version). What seems to be missed is that this SoC has x86 emulation baked in. According to this this article [mspoweruser.com] (linked from the story), this new ARM chip is capable of running regular, desktop Windows 10 applications.

    Thanks,
    the_ crowbar

    • The headline mentions Windows 10, but the posts here seem to look toward Windows 10 Mobile (the phone version). What seems to be missed is that this SoC has x86 emulation baked in. According to this this article [mspoweruser.com] (linked from the story), this new ARM chip is capable of running regular, desktop Windows 10 applications.

      Good points. Running Photoshop shows it is at least decent emulation. The article at the end mentioned this might mean Win Phones can run regular Win10 programs, the question is why? Photoshop on a phone? Word or Excel? I would think this is initially aimed at the tablet market. Given the persistent rumors that Apple is also working on OS X/ARM compatibility it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        You would think they would be trying to get to the phone-as-desktop-computer stage.

        Running Photoshop on a phone as a standalone device makes no sense, patched into a full-size monitor it makes complete sense.

        It almost looks like phones as portable computers capable of being both mobile devices and (at least lightweight) desktop devices with peripherals seems within reach, and sharing the ability to run the legacy code base.

        • You would think they would be trying to get to the phone-as-desktop-computer stage.

          Running Photoshop on a phone as a standalone device makes no sense, patched into a full-size monitor it makes complete sense.

          It almost looks like phones as portable computers capable of being both mobile devices and (at least lightweight) desktop devices with peripherals seems within reach, and sharing the ability to run the legacy code base.

          While that may be true it currently makes little sense to me for several reasons. First you either have to carry the dock everywhere if you want portability which negates the advantage of carrying just a phone. Second, either phones start coming with a lot more storage or they are just the CPU, so essentially all you have is a desktop that has all the programs and files with a detachable CPU. Cloud storage can be an alternative but then you have no offline capability and still need storage for Win10 sized p

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            First you either have to carry the dock everywhere if you want portability which negates the advantage of carrying just a phone.

            Unlike the laptop many people carry with them along with a phone?

            If you assume something like this gains traction, then I foresee a lot of situations where docking setups just become ubiquitous or people that need truly portable docking simply carry a laptop-like device which the phone slots into.

            I'm less bothered by the storage side of it, my years-old iPhone has 128 GB flash now, two years out what will a typical phablet potentially have? 512 GB? Which means local data storage will be a lot less of an i

            • Unlike the laptop many people carry with them along with a phone?

              Many good points. My point here was people already carry a laptop so what is the compelling argument for adding another laptop like dock so you can use your phone as the CPU when an existing solution works just fine? I also think the storage / need for a data connection to be useful / data caps and bandwidth issues need to be resolved before this is a viable solution. I'm not saying they can't be fixed but right now it appears to be more of a solution in search of a problem.

              • by swb ( 14022 )

                I'm not saying they can't be fixed but right now it appears to be more of a solution in search of a problem.

                It's not really available right now to purchase, so it's not even a search for anything at the moment. I'd guess these problems will mostly solve themselves over time. I'm willing to be optimistic on the hardware side making it actually possible -- ie, you can actually plug in your phone to a monitor and use it as a passable PC, the sort of slightly-above-annoying performance of a standard business desktop.

                My bigger question is will "they" allow it to actually happen? I mean, what would it mean to MS if

                • The older I get, the more I mourn for the computing environment we *could* have if it wasn't 99% crippled by rent-seeking bean-counters maxing licensing revenue.

                  Like running unlimited users on Windows Home through Remote Desktop Services (formerly Terminal Server), this is what I always wanted.
                  I believe they might allow to run your desktop-on-phone without any special dock using that tech, though : single user Remote Desktop is something they allowed way back then, more recently game streaming has been allowed, you're free to do streaming/thin client, only the licensing restrictions (from Microsoft but also Nvidia and AMD) disallow what would make it most useful, l

                  • by tepples ( 727027 )

                    only the licensing restrictions (from Microsoft but also Nvidia and AMD) disallow what would make it most useful, like four players running a multiplayer game from the same PC.

                    I don't see how that's impossible. Plug four USB gamepads into a PC, and at least Duck Game will recognize them, as will FCEUX (an NES emulator). If a native PC game supports online co-op but refuses to recognize more than one gamepad for split-screen co-op on an appropriately powerful PC, complain to its publisher and don't buy any future games from the same publisher.

                    • Well, games like Quake (PC version), Call of Duty, Warcraft don't allow you to play split-screen four player with four gamepads.
                      What I was thinking of, and I was maybe not explicit, is to build a single big ass PC so that four players, or 2-8 players may play on dumb terminals (cheap ass computers on ethernet with very high speed pixel streaming, one contemporary example but perhaps not the best would be the Chromecast series. Another is a random PC unfit for these games)

                      You'll need at least a $2.5K or so "

                    • by tepples ( 727027 )

                      Quake (PC version), Call of Duty, Warcraft

                      Quake 1-3: Play a source port with gamepad input and split screen or add this feature to a source port.
                      COD series: I have seen split screen in Zombies mode of Black Ops for Xbox 360. Is it intentionally omitted from the PC version?
                      Warcraft series: Skip Warcraft. Contribute gamepad mode and split screen to Stratagus instead.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            First you either have to carry the dock everywhere if you want portability which negates the advantage of carrying just a phone.

            Unless the dock is just OTG and HDMI cables to use with the keyboard and monitor already at your destination. Then the phone's surface becomes a laptop-style trackpad to control the mouse pointer.

            It's too bad Matias had to price its Half Keyboard for sale to health insurers rather than individuals.

          • by robinsc ( 84714 )

            At my office I already have a large monitor keyboard and mouse.
            A phone's SD card slot can take upto a 256GB microsd card - thats better than many ssds.
            In a corporate situation much of the files reside on a file server anyway.
            I can totally see the phone as working as a primary device coupled with a powered usb otg hub /mhl device .

      • Don't forget about Continuum. The upcoming "Creators Update" due in April includes a number of enhancements to the technology which, coupled with x86 compatibility, increases the feasibility of a mobile device (be it a tablet or a phone) as a primary computing device. Easy to imagine a market in both developed markets (either to reduce device proliferation, or as dedicated devices for children) and in developing markets (where a converged device wouldn't be competing against full blown computers, but aga

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Where does this rumour about "emulation backed in" and that this is about some special stuff in the SoC come from?
      I see no indication (nor any sane way) for this to be anything but a pure software x86 emulation, so it will work on ANY ARM CPU, it's just that Microsoft can't be bothered (or are too incompetent) to make their OS run on more than one single SoC.
      Which is also kind of why I don't see them getting anywhere: as long as they are stuck with ONE SINGLE supplier, they'll never be able to benefit enoug

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      The article implies its in Windows software not hardware. Doing this in hardware would probably run into x86 licensing issues that Intel could tie up in the court system for decades.
  • Initially the whole point of ARM that made it so successful on the mobile platform, was simple and energy efficient architecture. Lately it seem that ARM is more about fitting as much complexity as possible into a single chip..
    • Of course ARM had simplicity (=cheap) and energy efficiency goals when it ran for mobile. But, of course, you go for more goals if the run change. IMHO the next big thing, the goal Qualcomm is running for, are desktop-capable phones. You come home, attach your smartphone to a docking station with mouse/kb/monitor/whatever and there you go. No PC anymore. Microsoft already went this way some time ago, so it's hardly a surprise that they collaborate with Qualcomm on it.
    • Initially the whole point of ARM that made it so successful on the mobile platform, was simple and energy efficient architecture.
      Lately it seem that ARM is more about fitting as much complexity as possible into a single chip..

      Yes, but if useful functionality/complexity can be added without using more power, that's a good thing isn't it? Seems that ARM (et al) so far are doing a pretty good job of increasing performance and decreasing power usage with each new iteration. Simplicity doesn't not automatically mean efficiency, indeed more performant chips can go back to sleep quicker than slower ones.

  • It can't do x86 win64 apps. It can only run 32 bit x86 windows applications. That makes it useless. Who is going to run 32 bit autocad? LOL.

    • If you have a program that needs to be 64bit to run, then I doubt this CPU would have the grunt to run it. If you want to run AutoCAD without having to twiddle your thumbs while waiting for the screen to draw, then you should just buy a real Intel or AMD CPU.

      • RAM limit may be a bigger problem. If the phone has 6GB RAM and no swap, you aren't free to run absolutely anything.
        32bit has a nice built-in 2GB limit, at least for a program that runs in a single process (or 3GB limit, but if I'm not mistaken that's optional and 32bit Windows defaulted to not allow it)

        Also a decent reason to run 32bit Windows or Linux on PC with 1GB, 2GB or 3GB RAM.

  • ...to be fair, there are waaay too many words in English that function as either noun or verb depending on context, but that's why sentence structure is so damn important!

  • by hduff ( 570443 )

    But can it run DOOM?

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      ARM devices have been running the PrBoom [doomwiki.org] source port for over a decade. The only thing keeping popular ARM devices from running actual Doom is Idthesda's refusal to port it, combined with app store policies that require applications to be "self-contained".

  • One question here: since these solutions usually involve having to run x64, why doesn't Qualcomm either license the x64 instruction set from AMD, or even buy it up altogether? Let's say they do the first - license the instruction set. They can do something like 3 cores of ARM and 1 core of x64 in a CPU, so that Windows ARM binaries run on the 3 cores, and the stuff that is x86 can be directed by Windows to the 4th core that is x64.

    After all, Windows Phone 8/Windows 10 Mobile do have quite a number of na

  • When someone "leaks" a press release then it's not leak, it's a strategic press release. A normal press release wouldn't get much attention but a "leaked" press release will. Since the only people benefitting from this is the company that would have made the press release, it's obvious that this was done strategically to get attention ahead of the crowd.

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