TUXEDO on ARM is coming - TUXEDO Computers

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TUXEDO on ARM is coming

As you may have gathered from the relevant press over the last few days, we at TUXEDO Computers are working on an ARM notebook with a Snapdragon X Elite SoC from Qualcomm.

The tension rises

We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting an alternative to x86 notebooks. The new Snapdragon architecture makes this possible for the first time for Linux with comparable performance and lower energy requirements. Here we present the specification of our upcoming ARM model, as far as it has already been finalised, as well as the current status.

We recently presented a prototype of the ARM notebook we are working on at the Computex computer trade fair in Taiwan. On the software side, a port of TUXEDO OS with KDE Plasma to the ARM platform is our goal for this project running internally under the working title Drako.

What characterises the Snapdragon X Elite SoC?

The Snapdragon X Elite SoC for laptops, tablets and other devices presented by Qualcomm last year relies on an in-house Oryon CPU, just like its predecessors, but the Snapdragon X Elite is much more powerful. Benchmarks from Qualcomm suggest that the new Snapdragon can not only catch up with the competition, but also clearly outperform Apple’s M2 SoCs whilst showing higher energy efficiency. Our preliminary measurements confirm these values.

What is a SoC?

In this case, SoC stands for “System on a Chip”. It is an integrated circuit that concentrates the components required for a device, such as CPU, GPU, NPU, USB interfaces and memory, on a single chip. Shorter cable paths ensure higher speed and an effective PCB layout. 

Our prototype is powered by the Snapdragon X Elite X1E80100, which has 12 Oryon cores with 3.8 GHz, which clock up to 4.6 GHz in dual-core boost. An Adreno GPU with 1.25 GHz is also built into the SoC. The device also offers 8+4 PCIe 4.0 lanes and 2+2 PCIE 3.0 lanes. The integrated NPU offers 45 TeraFlops for AI workloads.

The SoC is not suitable for high-end notebooks or gaming behemoths; it is more suited to business-class workhorses such as the Pulse or the InfinityBook Pro notebooks.

Also for Linux

Until now, the Snapdragon X Elite SoCs have only been available on the market in Windows on ARM PCs. At this year’s Embedded Open Source Summit a few weeks ago, Qualcomm explained its efforts to make the SoC available for Linux as well.

An article by Qualcomm showcases, which functions have already been incorporated into the mainline kernels 6.8 and 6.9 in collaboration with the ARM specialist Linaro and what is planned for 6.10 and 6.11 and describes the plans for the next six months. Detailed technical information on this is provided in a video by a developer who works on the Linux kernel for Qualcomm.

What is the status of development at TUXEDO?

We have been working with a first prototype for some time, which will soon be replaced by a second one. The development is still in the alpha stage, as some drivers are still missing, which will hopefully be available with the next two kernel versions.

It is quite conceivable that an ARM notebook from TUXEDO will be under your Christmas tree in 2024. However, there are still too many pieces of the hardware, software and delivery capability puzzle missing to even begin to set a release date. TUXEDO for ARM will come, but we don’t yet know exactly when. If you have subscribed to our newsletter, you will be the first to know.