Qualcomm challenges Intel with its new Nuvia notebook chips

Qualcomm challenges Intel with its new Nuvia notebook chips

Christiano Amon, Qualcomm's new chief executive, spoke about the company's intentions for its processors based on technologies developed by Nuvia, a startup the company acquired earlier this year. Qualcomm plans to launch notebook chips with the Nuvia architecture next year, but will not return to the datacenter chip market. Qualcomm will try to license these cores to other companies instead.

Nuvia was originally co-founded by former Apple engineers in an effort to build ARM-based System-On-Chip (SoC) for servers. Based on the company's simulations, its Phoenix core could offer at least 50% higher peak performance than AMD's Zen 2 and Intel's Sunny Cove cores at 1/3 power (4.50W vs 14.80W) in Geekbench 5. The Phoenix core could also outperform Apple's A13 Lightning cores, which essentially means the company said the core was considerably better than ARM's generic Cortex A-series cores that are widely used in smartphones, tablets, and some PC-oriented SoCs. .

In a recent interview with Reuters, Amon said:

We needed the best performance for a battery-powered device. If ARM, with whom we have been in a relationship for years, eventually develops a better CPU than we can build ourselves, we will always have the option of licensing it.

Qualcomm's new CEO has confirmed that the company will begin selling Nuvia-based Snapdragon SoCs for next-generation always-connected PCs (ACPCs) as early as next year. However, he did not reveal exactly when SoCs for smartphones and cars will be available.

Tackling Windows PCs with their own high-performance SoCs is a great opportunity for Qualcomm. This market is huge and PCs are hungry for performance, so Nuvia's performance per watt advantages over x86 designs will be important. Many things will depend on the user experience provided by Microsoft Windows 11 on ARM SoCs and compatibility with apps originally designed for x86 CPUs, but at least on paper Qualcomm appears to be in a good position.

Photo: Qualcomm But while Nuvia originally aimed at data centers with its SoCs, Qualcomm has no plans to re-enter this market after failing with its centriq CPUs several years ago. Additionally, while the ARM-compatible data center software ecosystem has grown in recent years, it is now more difficult to compete in this arena now that ARM offers Neoverse cores.

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