Qualcomm has just announced their PC platform: Snapdragon X. Currently, Qualcomm’s PC products are mainly modified mobile chips, thus they only add a suffix to the chip’s name, i.e. Snapdragon 8cx. With Snapdragon X, we’re going to see the fruits of Qualcomm’s acquisition of NUVIA, which is slated to bring a huge leap in performance and efficiency to the PC market.
Snapdragon X: Qualcomm Oryon CPU, higher efficiency and performance
Qualcomm’s existing chips designed for the PC market are relatively lackluster compared to their x86 counterparts. While they may deliver better efficiency, overall performance and usability is somewhat limited. It’s not entirely Qualcomm’s fault as it is also Windows’ job to optimize Windows for Arm, but as it stands, Windows on Arm is a barely usable experience, and most people would agree.
Qualcomm is selling the Snapdragon X compute platforms as one that will bring next-level performance, AI, connectivity and battery life. Given that Qualcomm also designs 5G modems, they are definitely in the best position to bring always-connected PCs to the market with integrated 5G modems. This should technically allow Windows to have a more level playing field against Apple’s Arm-based M-series chips which have shook the PC industry with their efficiency and raw horsepower.
As an interesting bit of trivia, NUVIA’s co-founder Gerard William was a part of the team that helped Apple develop custom CPUs, as well as Arm core architectures in the past. Qualcomm is still being somewhat vague about what they will be bringing with Snapdragon X, sharing that more will be revealed at the upcoming Snapdragon Summit.
While I am excited to see Snapdragon work on bringing Arm to PC, I sure hope that Microsoft shares the same excitement to improve Windows’ support for Arm-based CPUs.