AMD Forges Alliance With Qualcomm For Always-Connected Ryzen Mobile Products

AMD made a surprise appearance at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit. AMD's Kevin Lensing, Corporate Vice President and GM of the Client Business Unit, announced that the company is partnering with Qualcomm to produce Always Connected Ryzen Mobile products.

Qualcomm is launching its Windows 10 on ARM initiative at the summit, so AMD's surprising appearance to announce new capabilities with its x86 processors seemed somewhat out of place, but it is an important development. AMD announced that it is using Qualcomm's X16 LTE modems to construct "Always Connected" 4G LTE PCs with AMD's Ryzen Mobile platform.

AMD did not announce any specific products, but it did say that it has infused Qualcomm's Snapdragon 4G LTE modem into their Ryzen Mobile reference test platform. AMD has worked with Qualcomm engineering to do full testing, optimization, and validation of the combination of the two components.

Now AMD plans to bring that solution to its OEM partners to drive Always Connected client notebooks with Gigabit LTE speeds to market.

Qualcomm and Microsoft's drive to bring Snapdragon 835-powered devices to market hinges on two central themes: always-connected connectivity and trading some performance for superior battery life. The company claims that will hit Intel where it hurts in the battery life department, but it's easy to predict that these Windows 10 on ARM PCs won't have the horsepower you can get with Intel's processors.

AMD's Ryzen Mobile processors have proven to offer competitive performance with Intel's Kaby Lake-Refresh processors, at least in the limited third-party testing we've seen thus far, so pairing the Always Connected functionality with AMD's compute power opens up another front in the apparent war against Intel's market dominance. Of course, the new Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs also present a threat to AMD's products, so establishing its own Always Connected functionality is important to remain competitive.

The initiative is somewhat of a continuance of AMD's existing partnership with Qualcomm; Lensing pointed out that it has long used integrated Qualcomm WLAN solutions. We don't have further details as of yet, but we will update this article as necessary.

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.