The San-Diego based chip making giant Qualcomm held its 2021 investor Day event today, and has made some bold announcements showing off it’s future plans for a next generation ARM based SoC “designed to set the perfomance benchmark for Windows PCs” that could easily compete with Apple’s current lineup of M1 processors.
The company aims to make new chips that will be able to provide “sustained perfomance and battery life”. These chips are to be designed by Nuvia, which was acquired by Qualcomm earlier this year in a massive $1.4 billion deal. Nuvia being the company founded by a trio of ex-Apple engineers who had earlier worked on Apple’s A series of chips found in the iPhones.
Apart from this Dr. James Thompson Qualcomm’s CTO (Chief Technology Officer) has also revealed very ambitious goals promising to provide early engineering samples of its chips to is hardware customers about nine months in advance before its launch in 2023.
However, we think that even if Qualcomm was able to go forward with designing powerful chips capable of competing with Apple’s M1 lineup of chips, it will still require the software side of things to work out which at the moment is quite unstable and unusable on Microsoft’s current Windows 11 ARM.
On the contrary Apple has had a very tightly integrated ecosystem consisting of hardware and software that just works together flawlessly, as we have seen with Rosetta 2 which translates the native x86 apps to work flawlessly on its M1 series of ARM based processors. While, Microsoft does provide a similar feature to translate the native x86 apps to run on ARM based CPUs but it’s nowhere near to the performance of the native apps.
If Qualcomm wants to provide industry leading performance it will have to work side by side with Microsoft to patch out all the issues. Something Qualcomm had done earlier but with limited success, as we have seen with Qualcomm’s partnership with Microsoft to design Surface X’s SQ1 and SQ2 chips which have had many software related issues which have led to lackluster performance.
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