Qualcomm claims that its upcoming ARM-based chip, scheduled to arrive in the year 2023, will “set the performance benchmark for Windows PCs.”
Qualcomm announced today that it is making an ARM-based chip for Windows PCs that will go against Apples M-series silicon inside their Mac series and is set to make its market debut in 2023. Now Qualcomm is no stranger to the PC chip game, but its efforts have not been as groundbreaking in terms of performance as Apple’s well-received M1 chip, which first arrived with the MacBook Air and Pro update last year.
That M1 was followed by M1 Max and Pro which further touched on new performance benchmarks and offers raw firepower in the same range as Intel’s top-of-the-line CPUs and NVIDIA’s latest RTX 3000 graphics card. Qualcomm has delivered ARM-based chips under its Snapdragon 8cx and 7c series to both Chromebooks and Windows on ARM PCs, but they have failed to make any noticeable splash in the market.
But it looks like Qualcomm is getting serious about PC chips and is targeting Apple’s well-received M-Series silicon. At the Qualcomm Investor Day 2021 Summit, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. James H. Thompson that the company is making an ARM-based chip that will “set performance benchmark for Windows PCs.” It will target progress in terms of sustained performance as well as battery life. More importantly, the slide show shared by Thompson says Qualcomm’s ARM-based chip will arrive as a “M-Series Competitive Solution for PC,” which is a high requirement to make and an exciting prospect to look forward to. The chip is designed by experts at Nuvia. A company started by engineers working on Apple’s silicon project and was subsequently acquired by Qualcomm in March this year.
Qualcomm’s chip will meet Apple at 3nm
Currently, Qualcomm’s is the top-of-the-line PC offering Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chips which arrived with upgrades such as 5G support across Sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum, Wi-Fi 6, updated Spectra ISP and some AI-based enhancements. Microsoft’s SQ2 chip inside the Surface Pro X is also based on the Qualcomm chip mentioned above. But despite the internal advantage, tests show that Windows 10’s ARM version runs faster on the M1 Mac than Microsoft’s convertible with a Qualcomm chip inside. Qualcomm has not confirmed details of its upcoming Apple-powered PC chip, such as the manufacturing process or core architecture.
However, the company notes that its Nuvia team is “Pretty far at this point” and that the company will begin the sampling process for its OEM partners in about nine months from now. The chipmaker adds that it wants to make “highest performing CPU with low power in the industry” that will find its way to the market inside Windows machines by 2023. By that time, Apple will reportedly bring 3nm chips to your Mac and smartphone line-up with markedly improved performance. And at what pace Apple has improved its silicon, it would be a tough road ahead for Qualcomm to catch up, let alone surpass it.
Next: M1 MacBook Vs. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2: Apple & Qualcomm Chips Compared
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