Windows 10 on ARM laptops set to be more powerful thanks to eight-core Snapdragon 8180

It’s looking ever more likely that Qualcomm’s upcoming mobile processor, expected to be the Snapdragon 8180, will be powering the next generation of Windows 10 on ARM devices.

Windows 10 on ARM devices are laptops that run a specially-made version of Windows 10 and use ARM processors that are more often found in smartphones and tablets, rather than more common laptop and desktop processors from AMD and Intel.

This means they combine the form factor of a laptop, with some of the benefits of mobile devices, such as instant booting, long battery lives and mobile data connections, so the devices are always connected to the internet.

While these devices have plenty of potential, the Windows 10 on ARM devices we’ve seen so far have been let down in one key area: processing power. This has left laptops such as the HP Envy x2 struggling to perform tasks that standard laptops have no problems with.

This could all change with the Snapdragon 8180, which rumors suggest will be able to provide a much-improved computing experience.

Set for December?

Qualcomm is holding its annual Technology Summit in Hawaii in December, and many people think this will be when we’ll see an official unveiling of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8180 (which could also be referred to as the SDM1000).

According to rumors, it will be an eight-core processor with 15-watt TDP and support for LPDDR4X RAM. Four Kyro Gold cores will apparently reach 3.0GHz, while four Kyro Silver cores will clock to 1.8GHz, with the chip switching between the cores depending on the tasks.

It’s also rumored to use a Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU and have 8.5 billion transistors. Along with the faster RAM (which comes with a 2133MHz clock speed, compared to the frequency of around 1866MHz in Snapdragon 850 or 845), this could offer a very impressive leap in performance for Windows 10 on ARM devices.

If the Snapdragon 8180, which has already apparently had its Geekbench benchmarks leaked, is indeed unveiled in December, we’ll hopefully start seeing Windows 10 on ARM laptops based on the hardware not long after.


Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.