Qualcomm is rebranding its PC lineup ahead of its Snapdragon Summit. The next generation of the company's PC chips will be dubbed the Snapdragon X Series, splitting it from the current 8cx lineup.
In a blog post, Qualcomm's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Don McGuire, confirmed that these new chips will be using the company's Oryon CPU. He wrote that Oryon is "a quantum leap forward in performance and power efficiency" and that "when combined with our NPU, [Snapdragon X] will deliver accelerated on-device user experiences for the new era of generative AI."
There will be new logos and badges to go on the system, though Qualcomm is suggesting we'll still get a version of the Snapdragon fireball. Qualcomm claims the "X" will help differentiate it's PC chips from other places where Snapdragon chips pop up, like phones. McGuire also wrote that there will be a "clear, simplified tiering structure," which will be a welcome change to Qualcomm's PC ecosystem.
So far, Qualcomm has been the only Arm-based system-on-chip maker to power Windows on Arm devices. The Oryon tech comes from cores designed by Nuvia, a startup that Qualcomm purchased in 2021 for $1.4 billion. But currently, the majority of Arm-based laptops are coming form Apple, which saw a surge following switching to its own silicon with the M1 and M2 series chips.
In 2022, Qualcomm CEO Crisiano Amon said on a call with executives that "we expect to see an inflection point in Windows on Snapdragon PCs in 2024 based on a significant number of design wins to date." If Snapdragon X is competitive with AMD and Intel in the PC space, Arm's share in the PC space could increase well beyond the Mac. There have been some reports that Qualcomm has upset some hardware partners by demanding that the Oryion SoCs be used with its own proprietary power management integrated circuits (PMICs), so it will be interesting to see which companies announce laptops built around the new chips.
But Qualcomm is hyping the SoCs, which could potentially make Arm far more exciting on Windows. We'll have to see when the company releases more details.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon Summit will take place in Maui, Hawaii from October 24 - 26. Maui is slowly reopening to tourists following devastating wildfires in Lahaina, a town on the island's western shore.
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Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE
It will fail again if Qualcomm did not enter the DIY desktop PC ecosystem. It's better to buy hybrid ARM based tablets with keyboard as its cover like Samsung Galaxy Tab than buying Windows based Snapdragon laptop.Reply
I would like to see Qualcomm's new processors enter the MiniPC/AIO space. The Mac Mini is still unrivalled in price to performance. The only exception dubiously goes to Chinese MiniPC manufacturers using x86 laptop parts and Windows 11 Pro, but I would rather choose a more reputable alternative.Reply