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5G on PCs? That's Lenovo's plan for 2020 with Qualcomm chips


Lenovo's Yoga C630 used Qualcomm chips to connect to 4G LTE networks.


They are no longer just 5G phones; ultrafast connectivity will also reach PCs.

Qualcomm at the MWC in Barcelona on Monday said it has bundled its second-generation 5G modem, the X55, with the 8cx computer processor it introduced in December. The new Snapdragon 8cx 5G computing platform will allow computer manufacturers, later this year and early next year, to launch devices that connect to new ultrafast 5G networks.

The company hopes to see companies deploy their own private 5G networks in their buildings, which "will enable a high-performance, security-rich data link for the next generation of applications and connectivity experiences for the modern worker."

Lenovo said it would be "the first" to have a Snapdragon-enabled 5G PC on the market in early 2020.

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"This is the new generation of PCs that offer artificial intelligence, high performance, longer battery life and permanent connectivity that promise to enable better and faster experiences for consumers, small businesses and large companies," said Johnson Jia, vice president. and CEO of the Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group Consumer PC and Smart Devices division.

5G promises to significantly increase the speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks. It can offer speeds between 10 and 100 times faster than today's typical cellular connection and even faster than what fiber optic physical connections offer. Also, boost the speed with which a device connects with speeds as fast as a millisecond to start your download or shipment.

Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone fair, has seen ad after ad of companies working on 5G, and Qualcomm has been a part of them in most cases. Lenovo joined Qualcomm at its press conference on Monday to discuss connected PCs.

The PC with permanent connection

The goal of permanently connected PCs is to bring the features of the smart phone to computers, such as long-lasting or multi-day battery life and constant 4G LTE connectivity. People spend more time on their phones and less time on their PCs, and hold on to computers longer than they do to their smart phones. The answer for Microsoft and traditional PC makers has been to turn computers into something more like telephones and the promise of computers with Qualcomm technology was the battery life of several days.

In December Qualcomm introduced its first processor specifically designed for a permanent-connected PC, the Snapdragon 8cx. This chip, like Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 for smartphones, is built with 7-nanometer process technology, the most advanced technique available today. It offers huge leaps in performance compared to its predecessors on PC and is capable of running more applications and services than users want on their devices. Lenovo was Qualcomm's first major partner for the 8cx.

With the new 8cx with 5G, Qualcomm continues to boast multi-day usage, but said, "Battery life varies significantly with configuration, usage and other factors."

And while 5G may be coming to PCs, that doesn't mean consumers will use it. Matt Bereda, vice president of Global Consumer Marketing for PCs and Tablets at Lenovo, told CNET in December that most people don't activate 4G LTE service on their Lenovo permanent-connected PCs.

"More than half of people don't connect these devices," Bereda explained at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit.

Cost is one of the biggest factors why people don't use 4G LTE on their Windows or Snapdragon computers, he said. Lenovo found that the best way to sell permanent PCs was to not brag so much about connectivity.

MWC 2019: All the phones and gadgets presented at the great fair [photos]

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CNET and CNET in Spanish are in Barcelona with all the details of the Mobile World Congress in this city.

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