One of the surprises at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit was the presence of AMD. Out of no-where, Kevin Lensing, CVP and GM of the Client Business Unit at AMD, was invited onto the stage to announce that AMD and Qualcomm were in a connectivity partnership.

Recently AMD announced it was bringing its new high-performance x86 CPU cores and its latest GPU architecture to the notebook space. Within a 15W form factor, the Ryzen 7 2700U packs in four Zen cores along with 10 Vega compute units, to which AMD states that they have the top performing 15W notebook processor on the market. At the launch, three designs were briefly announced from HP, Acer, and Lenovo, from which the HP Envy x360 with the Ryzen 5 2500U is currently available for sale (we’re awaiting our review sample).

What Kevin Lensing was doing on stage at a Qualcomm event was announcing that AMD and Qualcomm have been working together on bringing LTE connectivity to the Ryzen Mobile platform. Normally when a vendor creates a notebook or a smartphone platform, they create a series of reference designs which are sent out to OEMs. These designs are meant to demonstrate how the parts fit together, and what sort of technologies can be implemented (just in case the OEMs don’t realize what can be possible). Kevin explained that in those Ryzen Mobile reference platforms, they included a Qualcomm LTE modem to allow for mobile connectivity on the go.

Equipping a laptop with mobile connectivity is not necessarily new – Intel has been doing it for years with their own modems (such as the XMM7260 and XMM7360), mostly in business end devices or Chromebooks. The fact that AMD is getting in on the action (and even appearing at a Qualcomm event to talk about Ryzen and Ryzen mobile) makes it interesting for sure. Kevin Lensing on stage stated that several OEMs were sufficiently interested in enabling their designs with Qualcomm LTE connectivity. As a result, some of the more interesting Ryzen Mobile designs, either for business or for casual users, might actually have LTE enablement as an option.

The obvious questions are about the extra cost, carrier partnerships (if they’re from OEMs, QC, or from AMD), and then also a nod at what the extra power consumption is. Questions I suspect that might be discussed next month at CES, when everyone involved will be giving new information about the products coming to market.

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  • ddrіver - Thursday, December 07, 2017 - link

    Apple has the fastest cores for consumers currently. And even as a SoC with smaller core count, the A* SoCs are ahead or at least keeping up with Qualcomm, Smasung, or Mediatek SoCs. Even the battery life is comparable and if you consider the batteries are half the size of those in many Android phones that's quite an achievement.

    There's no way Apple will be beaten in this regard anytime soon. Having end to end control gives you an advantage that's hard to beat. And remember that MS has also tried when it came to battery life and never could get better life that the perfectly equivalent hardware coming from Apple.
    Reply
  • xype - Thursday, December 07, 2017 - link

    "dont mistake better ecosystem on iOS for a better ARM chip."

    No one sane is doing that. Everyone knows that the better ARM chip stuff comes from Apple having the better ARM chip.
    Reply
  • smilingcrow - Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - link

    My Dell Latitude 7370 shipped with a Qualcomm 4G card which I sold for about 15% of the cost of the laptop which was a bonus. Reply
  • lefty2 - Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - link

    So, does the current Ryzen APU work with Qualcomm's modems, or is it a future product? Reply
  • rocketbuddha - Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - link

    I think it is more for the future. We can say AMD already has a partnership with QCOM. The 2 WLAN chipset providers for AMD laptop platform for a while are
    a) Broadcom
    b) Atheros (owned by QCOM)

    This time we are also seeing the 4G/5G Modem chipset partnership. Which is perfect. This would mean that HP has plans to push Ryzen into corporate laptops. I used to joke that for Intel to one up QCOM in the LTE world, their modem division should be agnositc and partner with AMD, NVIDIA and everyone else to push their WLAN+LTE chipset combo and make it ubiquitous second choice....
    Reply
  • HStewart - Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - link

    HP in corporate - most HP laptop are purchase by end consumers. Dell and Thinkpads ( lesser now since away from IBM ) are primary in corporations.

    Plus Ryzen needs some time in market before it trusted in corporate world.
    Reply
  • rocketbuddha - Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - link

    When it was CPQ, there was a huge corporate presence. My first few laptops were CPQ Armadas. HP's Probook's predeccessor (I do not remember the branding) was not as good and CPQ customers went to DELL Latitude series.

    Since 2005, I have had only DELL laptops across the 3 companies I have worked in.
    But AMD had a presence in SMB space of HP...
    Reply
  • HStewart - Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - link

    I believe AMD only works with existing Qualcomm 4G - according to Qualcomm presentation, it appears 5G is currently for Qualcomm SOC's only. Reply
  • BillBear - Thursday, December 07, 2017 - link

    Having AMD return from the grave sure does make tech much more interesting. Reply

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