The Revamped Snapdragon Dev Kit: A Closer Look

Qualcomm recently made waves in the tech industry with the release of a series of new Windows AI laptops powered by Snapdragon processors. Following this announcement, the company has unveiled a new desktop PC targeting developers. The Snapdragon Dev Kit is a compact machine designed to assist developers in coding and recompiling Windows applications specifically for the new Arm-based Snapdragon CPUs.

The Snapdragon Dev Kit stands out with its sleek design and transparent casing that reveals the black PCB inside. It is equipped with the powerful Snapdragon X Elite chip, boasting a higher boost clock speed compared to its laptop counterparts. The heart of this dev kit is the 12-core X Elite processor, designated as X1E-00-1DE. It offers a dual-core boost clock of up to 4.3 GHz and features Oryon cores with 42 MB of total cache, a 4.6 TFLOPs Adreno GPU, and a 45 TOPs Hexagon NPU.

This dev kit is specifically tailored to assist developers in transitioning their application code to work natively on Arm-based Snapdragon processors. It aims to offload processing tasks to the Hexagon NPU, reducing the load on the CPU. The Snapdragon X Elite chip is optimized to meet Microsoft’s requirements for Copilot+ AI PCs, delivering over 40 TOPs of AI processing power solely on the NPU.

In terms of specifications, the Snapdragon Dev Kit offers 32GB of LPDDR5x memory and 512GB of NVMe storage. It features a variety of ports including USB4 Type-C sockets, Type-A ports, ethernet, an audio combo jack, and HDMI. Additionally, it includes Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 7 capable networking silicon for seamless connectivity.

While the Snapdragon Dev Kit is not aimed at general consumers, its functionality within the Windows environment, especially under emulation, remains to be seen. There are uncertainties regarding its compatibility with PC games and the possibility of external GPU support. The dev kit is priced at $900 and is available through the Windows on Snapdragon developer portal.

The Snapdragon Dev Kit represents Qualcomm’s commitment to empowering developers in harnessing the potential of Arm-based Snapdragon processors. With its robust hardware and focus on AI processing, this dev kit is a valuable tool for developers looking to optimize their applications for the future of computing. While its practical applications may still need to be explored further, the Snapdragon Dev Kit offers a glimpse into the possibilities of next-generation computing.


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