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Qualcomm names its Windows 10 ARM PC partners

HP, Asus, Lenovo ring in brown trouser time for Intel

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm has named HP, Asus and Lenovo as its first partners to sell ARM-based Windows 10 PCs.

The chipmaker says the three vendors will be making PCs that will sport its Snapdragon 835 SoC (system-on-chip) and its X16 LTE chipset for wireless broadband connectivity. Qualcomm says all of the models will be fanless and will offer all-day battery life.

No other specs were given, nor an update on availability. Qualcomm has previously said it expects the ARM PCs to hit the market by the end of the year.

"Today's consumers experience mobility in nearly every aspect of their lives and they've come to expect more from their PCs than legacy computing models are able to provide," Qualcomm executive VP Cristiano Amon said.

"With compatibility for the Windows 10 ecosystem, the Snapdragon Mobile PC Platform will enable Windows 10 hardware makers to develop next-generation modern device form factors and deliver unparalleled anything, anywhere creation experiences with up-to-Gigabit Class LTE connectivity."

Each of the devices is set to run custom versions of Windows 10 that Microsoft has been developing for ARM processors.

Vendors have said that when they do arrive, the ARM PCs will offer a longer battery life and require less cooling than traditional x86 processors, making for thinner and smaller form factors – at the cost of less powerful hardware specs.

"The PC ecosystem continues to evolve, and this evolution requires new innovations in an ever-increasing mobile computing world," said Asus CEO Jerry Shen.

"With the Snapdragon Mobile PC Platform powering our new lineup of Windows 10 devices, our users now can take advantage of new always on, always connected experiences available to them."

The announcement also marks another step in the ongoing war between Intel and ARM chipmakers. Once limited to mobile and embedded devices, ARM chips have more recently moved into the traditional PC and data center markets dominated by Intel and, to a lesser extent, AMD. ®

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