A teaser image for Qualcomm's Snapdragon X SoCs. (credit: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm's annual "
" is coming up later this month, and the company appears ready to share more about its long-planned next-generation Arm processor for PCs. The company hasn't shared many specifics yet, but yesterday we finally got a name: "
" which is coming in 2024, and it may finally do for Arm-powered Windows PCs
what Apple Silicon chips did for Macs
a few years ago (though it's
coming a bit later than Qualcomm had initially hoped
Qualcomm has been making chips for PCs for years, most recently the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 (you might also know it as the Microsoft SQ3, which is what the chip is called in Surface devices). But those chips have never quite been fast enough to challenge Intel's Core or AMD's Ryzen CPUs in mainstream laptops. Any performance deficit is especially noticeable because many people will run at least a few apps designed for the x86 version of Windows, code which needs to be translated on the fly for Arm processors.
So why will Snapdragon X be any different? It's because these will be the first chips borne of Qualcomm's acquisition of Nuvia
. Nuvia was founded and staffed by quite a few key personnel from Apple's chipmaking operation, the team that had already upended a small corner of the x86 PC market by designing the Apple M1 and its offshoots. Apple had sued Nuvia co-founder and current Qualcomm engineering SVP Gerard Williams for poaching Apple employees, though the company
dropped the suit without comment
earlier this year.