Qualcomm wants to take on Apple’s M series with its next-gen processor
Qualcomm says it’s working on a next-gen PC processor that will set a new “performance benchmark for Windows PCs.” At the company’s 2021 Investor Day event, Qualcomm chief officer Dr. James Thompson detailed plans for the next-generation ARM-based PC chips that would go head to head against Apple’s M-series chips.
Qualcomm plans to have samples ready (via The Verge) for hardware partners in nine months; however, the chipset won’t arrive in products until 2023. The new chip will be designed by Nuvia, a startup that Qualcomm acquired for $.14 billion in January this year. The startup, which specializes in chip design, was formed by three Apple engineers who had previously worked on Apple’s A-series chipset.
Qualcomm isn’t sharing technical details of the chipset just yet, but it’s making some bold claims like setting the performance benchmark for Windows PCs, offering class-leading sustained performance battery life, and giving tough competition to Apple’s M-series lineup. Although the primary target is Windows PCs, Qualcomm plans to extend the chipset to multiple domains like mobile, automotive, data centers, etc.
A presentation slide shared by Qualcomm shows that the SoC will feature “next-gen” CPU, Adreno GPU, Hexagon processor, Sensing Hub, a security chip, Qualcomm Spectra ISP, a 5G modem-RF system, and FastConnect support. Moreover, Qualcomm will also scale up its Adreno GPUs to enable desktop-class gaming capabilities on future PC products.
In March, a report from WinFuture revealed that Qualcomm was testing a next-gen SoC lineup that could rival Apple’s M-series silicone. One of the variants that Qualcomm was testing had four absolute high-end cores called “Gold+” clocked at 2.7GHz and four high-end cores referred to as “Gold” running at 2.43GHz.
Although Qualcomm has tried to break into the PC market with its Snapdragon 8cx series, it has failed to match the likes of Intel and AMD. As such, it’ll be interesting to see whether this upcoming chipset will be able to turn the tide and establish Qualcomm as a serious PC chipmaker.