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Qualcomm ready to show more of its ARM

by on12 October 2023

"Snapdragon X" coming in 2024

Qualcomm is getting ready to announce details of what it called its "Snapdragon X" an ARM-based processor for Windows PCs which has nothing to do with Elon [look at me] Musk.  

The reveal is expected at Qualcomm's annual "Snapdragon Summit", is coming up later this month with the chip arriving next year.

Qualcomm has been making chips for PCs for years, most recently the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 (Microsoft SQ3, which appeared in Surface devices). But those chips have never been fast enough to challenge Intel's Core or AMD's Ryzen CPUs in mainstream laptops.

The new chips will be different because they have been developed since Qualcomm bought Nuvia in 2021. Nuvia were the brains behind the Apple M1 and its offshoots and Apple sued Nuvia co-founder and current Qualcomm engineering SVP Gerard Williams for poaching Apple employees.  The case did not go anywhere, and Apple dropped the suit without comment earlier this year.

The most significant change from current Qualcomm chips will be a CPU architecture called Oryon, Qualcomm's first fully custom Arm CPU design since the original Kryo cores in 2015.

All subsequent versions of Kryo, from 2016 to now, have been tweaked versions of off-the-shelf Arm Cortex processors rather than fully custom designs. This is similar to the M1 and M2, using a custom design with the same Arm instruction set which allows chip designers to boost performance for everyday workloads while still maintaining good power usage numbers.

Last modified on 12 October 2023
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