Qualcomm has announced plans that would see it go head-to-head with Apple for supremacy as the company looks to beef up its PC processor business.
The San Diego-based chip maker announced its next-generation Arm-based SoC that, it claims, would be designed to set the benchmark in Windows PC performance. The new chip will bring Qualcomm in direct competition with Apple’s M-series processors.
Apple revealed its latest M-series processors that power the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops and iMac and Mac Mini desktops in 2020, promising to phase out Intel chips by 2022.
Qualcomm Chief Technology Officer Dr James Thompson announced plans for the new chips at its 2021 investor day event. It aims to get samples delivered to hardware customers in nine months ahead of the product launch in 2023.
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Nuvia, which Qualcomm acquired earlier this for a staggering $1.4 billion, will design the new chip. Nuvia was founded in 2019 by three Apple employees who had previously worked on the Cupertino-based tech giant’s A-series chips.
The chip maker has also made big promises — it aims to become the leader in “sustained performance and battery life”. The company will also scale up its Adreno GPUs with the goal of desktop-class gaming to future PC products.
Qualcomm has attempted to break into the PC chip market before with the Snapdragon 8cx line. It also partnered with Microsoft on the SQ1 and SQ2 chips in the Surface X. However, those efforts were lacklustre compared to Apple’s Arm-based chips that offered revolutionary power and battery experience.
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On Tuesday, the company also said that it expected chip sales to Apple to be miniscule in the next few years but predicted robust growth in chips for autonomous cars and connected devices, Reuters reported. Qualcomm sees automotive sector revenue to hit $3.5 billion in five years and $8 billion in 10 years from $1 billion in the 2021 fiscal. On Tuesday, it announced a deal to supply self-driving car chips to German automotive giant BMW.