Qualcomm Could Have an Apple Silicon Competitor in the Market in ‘Nine Months’

BY Anu Joy

Published 17 Nov 2021

In its investor day event, Qualcomm announced plans to release next-gen ARM-based SoCs for personal computers that will compete head on with Apple Silicon in terms of performance.

Besides attempting to take on its “closest competitor” (aka Apple), the chip maker also plans to lead the industry for “sustained performance and battery life”. In addition to PCs, it also aims to optimize the chip architecture to work for mobile devices, vehicles, and data center applications. Furthermore, it promised to scale up its Adreno GPUs while promising desktop-class gaming performance.

Apple’s M-series lineup has set the standard for high-performing PC chips, with both Microsoft and Mac experts agreeing that it is indeed superior. In fact, Intel went so far as to say that it had been outdone by Apple.

Qualcomm has been trying to get into PC chips for a while now – notably with its failed Snapdragon 8cx processors and partnership with Microsoft on the SQ1 and SQ2 chips. But its offerings fall short when compared to Apple’s M1 chips.

But that hasn’t stopped the company from trying. Earlier this year, it acquired Nuvia for a staggering sum of $1.4 billion for its expertise on designing server-grade chips. What’s noteworthy about it, though, is that it was founded in 2019 by ex-Apple engineers who had worked on the A-series chips.

Is Qualcomm hoping that the Nuvia engineers will be able to recreate their magic on the new ARM-based chips?

However, it should be wary of Apple’s oft-deployed legal team, as the iPhone maker has a penchant for suing competitors and ex-employees. The tech firm had previously sued ex-employee Gerard Williams III, who left the firm to start Nuvia. Apple alleged that Williams had breached an intellectual property agreement by planning his new venture on company time.

Could Apple’s loss be Qualcomm’s gain? Or is Qualcomm too late to the party with Apple working on even more powerful chips? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via Qualcomm]