In the notebook sector, the firm believes it can compete with Intel, AMD, and Apple.
Qualcomm purchased Nuvia to get a competitive advantage in the laptop CPU industry, and the firm plans to wow with its next core architecture in 2022. Simultaneously, the silicon behemoth is prepared to employ Arm designs as necessary, as well as licence Nuvia’s architecture to firms interested in developing bespoke server chips.
Qualcomm’s most recent big announcement was the Snapdragon 888+ Mobile Platform, which has faster clocks and enhanced machine learning capabilities and will power new flagship phones later this year, but the chipmaker also has huge ambitions for the laptop industry.
Qualcomm said today that it intends to deliver new mobile processors for laptops based on Nuvia’s design in 2022. Qualcomm acquired Nuvia earlier this year for $1.4 billion, bringing with it three silicon veterans from Apple, AMD, Google, and Broadcom. The trio was previously focused on designing energy-efficient Arm-based chips for the data center, but now their efforts are directed at making better processors for phones, laptops, advanced driver assistance for cars, and network infrastructure.
During a Reuters interview, newly-appointed Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said he’s confident his company can come up with chips that will not only be competitive with Apple’s M1 but could very well end up leading the pack. Amon didn’t go into more details, but he did say the company is aiming to have “leading performance for a battery-powered device,” alluding to the energy-efficiency of Nuvia’s Phoenix core.
That implies Qualcomm may develop a laptop chip that delivers 40 to 50 percent greater IPC performance than Intel’s 10th generation CPUs and AMD’s Zen 2 counterparts while requiring just one-third the power. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx, 8c, and 7c now outperform x86 alternatives in terms of battery life, but fall short of Apple M1 levels of performance.
The business will also maintain its relationship with Arm and is willing to use an Arm design if it is superior to what Qualcomm and Nuvia engineers can come up with. Amon went on to say that Qualcomm will not be leveraging Nuvia’s architecture to create server or smartphone processors anytime soon. Instead, it will licence Nuvia’s fundamental ideas to other firms who wish to create bespoke data centre silicon.