Thursday, December 2

Qualcomm to launch its own ARM chips for PC and stand up to Apple

Qualcomm has seen enough of the evolution Apple chips are taking. The manufacturer confirmed today that he is going to get down to work and to launch its own range of ARM-based SoCs for computers. Suddenly, that Qualcomm miniPC we saw yesterday makes a lot more sense with this news.

ARM PCs, second attempt after Surface X

The news takes on even more interest if we add that these chips will be developed by the original Nuvia team, the company that Qualcomm acquired and that was made up of ex-Apple engineers who worked on some of the A chips in the iPhones and iPads.

James Thompson, Qualcomm’s chief technology officer, also announced that the company will start with its Adreno GPUs to create graphics cards for PC. As everything is based on ARM, battery consumption and efficiency should improve a lot compared to the x86 chips from Intel and AMD.

This may be an important step towards becoming a serious rival to Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max, but the problem is going to be how long it will take to see that rivalry. Qualcomm will release the first units in nine months, with more massive launches in 2023. Plenty of room for Cupertino to launch not one if not two more generations of its chips.

Another obstacle is going to be Windows itself, which is still not ready to run properly on ARM chips (use the example of the Surface X to check). Two years go a long way, so Qualcomm and Microsoft have as their duty to launch chips at the height of what they have been able to offer from Apple.

Image | Andre Tan

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