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Firefox Is Coming to Qualcomm Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 Devices


Alongside bringing Snapdragon 8cx as its new chip for “always-on, always-connected” Windows 10 PC category, Qualcomm has announced its partnership with Mozilla to bring a native Firefox version for Snapdragon-powered Windows computers. The native ARM64 version of Firefox is touted to leverage the performance of the Snapdragon platform to deliver the “most performant out-of-the-box experience possible”. The San Diego-based chip maker at the Qualcomm Tech Summit 2018 in Hawaii announced the Snapdragon 8cx as the world’s first 7nm SoC for PCs. The chip has Qualcomm Kryo 495 CPU and Adreno 680 GPU.

While Microsoft is natively supporting ARM architecture, it considers various emulation techniques to run Windows 10 applications on ARM-powered devices. This brings performance issues especially in case of a Web browser like Firefox that consumes processing power and memory for each tab and puts a lot of pressure on the system while watching a video on a streaming site like YouTube. However, by bringing native ARM64 support, the browser will be able to use the available resources appropriately.

“Mozilla is excited to be collaborating with Qualcomm and optimising Firefox for the Snapdragon compute platform with a native ARM64 version of Firefox that takes full advantage of the capabilities of the Snapdragon compute platform and gives users the most performant out of the box experience possible,” says Marissa Morris, Senior Director of Firefox, Mozilla, in a blog post.

Neither Mozilla nor Qualcomm has announced any particular schedule for bringing the ARM64 version of the Firefox browser. Meanwhile, Google is also apparently working with Microsoft to bring a Chrome version specifically for Windows 10 machines based on ARM. Commits by Microsoft engineers had been spotted by 9to5Google that suggested at the development of a new ARM-supported Chrome version. It would be interesting to see whether it will be the Chrome or Firefox that will debut natively on ARM-based Windows 10 machines.

That being said, Qualcomm at its annual summit in Hawaii announced the Snapdragon 8cx as its latest SoC for Windows PCs. The new chip is claimed to be the world’s first 7nm PC platform.

Updated: December 7, 2018 — 12:57 pm

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