Qualcomm has been ahead of the mobile processor game for some time now with their popular Snapdragon chips that power everything from the latest flagships to entry-level and mid-range smartphones, not to mention their smartwatch-specific chip that they launched earlier in the year.
With growth slowing in the mobile market and the competition increasing constantly, it appears Qualcomm feels its time to enter the PC processor market, after all, a 2016 mobile processor was considered a high-end PC one only a few years ago, so the move makes sense, especially since Qualcomm has a presence in more or less every other major processor market. Now, for those wondering how Qualcomm expect’s to differentiate itself from the likes of Intel or AMD, the company has confirmed that its processors are based on an architecture that has never been used with a Windows device. In fact, the only operating system’s it has been used with are Android, Linux and iOS, something that could lead to drastically more efficient chips and, subsequently, a longer battery life.
The company appears to be concentrating on an entrance into the server processor market due to the fact that they can sell processors at much higher profit margins, something that could mean a significant increase in revenue for Qualcomm. Their unique processor, dubbed the Centriq 2400, is ARM-based, yet it offers the same processing power as an Intel Xeon server chip, but for a fraction of the energy. As well as this, Qualcomm has said that the new chip will be produced with the new 10-nanometer tech, something Intel isn’t expected to use in its server chips until 2018, alongside a maximum of 48 cores, versus the 24 cores that Intel chips allow.
Regarding the availability of Qualcomm-powered Windows 10 computers, Qualcomm and Microsoft confirmed that the first devices could be available as early as next year and, thanks to the new architecture, should allow for much more power efficient devices, something that is valued highly by companies. Obviously, Qualcomm is going to face extremely tough competition from Intel once they enter the server market, considering the fact that nearly all chips that are employed today are Intel ones, but, with the advantage of releasing 10-nanometer chips before Intel, the company certainly has a significant advantage on its hands.