Qualcomm purchased Nuvia, a chipmaking firm, in March 2021; and said later that year that it would use Nuvia’s talent and technology to develop high-performance custom-designed ARM chips to compete with Apple’s CPU designs. However, if you’re looking for a truly high-performance Windows PC that doesn’t use an Intel or AMD processor; you’ll have to wait a while longer. During Qualcomm’s most recent earnings call, CEO Christian Amon stated that the company’s high-performance M1-class chips would arrive in consumer devices in “late 2023.”
Qualcomm still intends to provide sample chips to its partners in 2022; a date it previously stated and has managed to meet. Qualcomm has time to work out faults and improve chip yields; and PC manufacturers have time to develop and create final products that contain the chips. Thus, there is usually a delay between sampling and mass production.
Nuvia was bought by Qualcomm in part because of its personnel and in part because of its work building ARM-based server processors. Even if Nuvia had already been working on chips designed for consumer computers when it was bought; it would have taken at least a couple of years for us to be able to buy them in anything.
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Nuvia’s chipsets are ARM instruction compatible which is a boost of M1-Class chips
Nuvia’s CPUs support the ARM instruction set, although they don’t use off-the-shelf ARM Cortex CPU designs like Apple’s. These processing cores have been a huge hit in commodity SoCs that power everything from Android phones to smart TVs. Plus, they helped popularise the idea of combining large, high-performance CPU cores with small, high-efficiency CPU cores in the same design. However, they rarely achieve top performance, which is especially obvious when running x86 code on Windows with a performance penalty.
Even if the Nuvia processors can match or better the M1’s performance by late 2023; it will still be a significant boost over current-generation Snapdragon CPUs.
Although Apple may have progressed one or two generations since the M1, Qualcomm will have the advantage of fighting directly with Intel and AMD rather than Apple. It may be tough to match Apple’s performance, but defeating x86 CPUs on power efficiency may be a more realistic target.
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