Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 7C in December 2019, coming as a mid-range chipset for Windows on Arm devices and Chromebooks. Now, the US chip designer has announced the Snapdragon 7C Gen 2, targeted at entry-level Arm PCs and Chromebooks. But those expecting major upgrades might be disappointed.
Much like the Snapdragon 8CX Gen 2 flagship chipset was basically the same as the original 8CX, the Snapdragon 7C Gen 2 is virtually identical to the original processor. That means you’ve got an 8nm design featuring an octa-core Kryo 468 CPU (two Cortex-A76 cores at 2.55GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8GHz) and an Adreno 618 GPU.
Qualcomm compared the new processor to the Intel Celeron N4020, Pentium Silver N5030, and MediaTek MT8183 chipsets in benchmarks, with the new chipset coming out on top. We should take this with a pinch of salt as we’d prefer to wait for independent testing. But it’s also worth noting that the MT8183 in particular was launched in late 2019, with the MT8192 replacing it.
Otherwise, the Snapdragon 7C Gen 2 also sports an X15 modem for LTE connectivity (up to 600Mbps), a Spectra 255 image signal processor, and a Hexagon 692 digital signal processor. Other notable features include a maximum display resolution of QHD or 2,048 x 1,536 at 60Hz, Qualcomm Aqstic audio support, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi 5.
A Snapdragon PC in a small form factor
Qualcomm also had some welcome news for developers, as it launched the Snapdragon Developer Kit for Windows. Offering a NUC form factor reminiscent of a taller Mac Mini, the developer kit was built in partnership with Microsoft.
There’s no word on the SoC, RAM, and storage, but a side view does show at least one full-sized USB port, an SD card slot, and another card-sized slot. We presumably have more I/O options around the back (aside from the expected HDMI out).
The company didn’t dish out a price or specific launch date for the Snapdragon Developer Kit, but said it would be “affordable” and launch in summer 2021 via the Microsoft Store.