THE Microsoft started this Tuesday (25) sales of the Windows Dev Kit 2023. Formerly known as Project Volterra, the machine is a mini-PC with a Snapdragon and Windows 11. As the name implies, the idea is for developers to use the device for work and take their applications and software to the Arm architecture.
Windows Dev Kit 2023 will initially be sold in eight countries: Germany, Australia, Canada, China, the United States, France, Japan and the United Kingdom.
The device looks like a Mac Mini: a small box for you to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It costs $599 and has very interesting specs:
- 32GB LPDDR4x RAM
- 512 GB of NVMe storage
- Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
- 3 USB-A ports
- 2 USB-C ports
- Mini DisplayPort supports up to three displays, two with 4K resolution at 60 Hz
- Bluetooth 5.1
- WiFi 6
- RJ45 to ethernet
The hardware is great, but what developers are perhaps most interested in are the tools. There are several new features for programming aimed at Arm processors in Windows.
- Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK for Windows
- Visual Studio version 17.4, which runs on Arm processor natively
- .NET 7 with Arm-specific performance improvements
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has a Hexagon processor dedicated to artificial intelligence tasks.
How do you remember the TechCrunchWindows gained support for NPUs (Neural Processing Units), which accelerate tasks involving AI, saving battery.
This type of chip is common in smartphones. As more and more apps use features of this type, they started to appear on computers as well.
Qualcomm tries to get it on PCs
Qualcomm’s partnership with Microsoft is nothing new. The brand created a custom chip for the Surface Pro, the SQ1based on the 2019 Snapdragon 8cx.
Qualcomm has been trying to increase its presence in the PC market since 2018. That year, the company launched the Snapdragon 850the first chip really designed for this type of product.
The first two versions of the 8cx were criticized for underperforming.
In addition, the lack of compatibility with Windows software always weighs against when choosing a machine with Snapdragon and another with Intel or AMD. It is precisely this problem that the Windows Dev Kit 2023 will try to solve.