Qualcomm ‘on track’ for Apple M-level Nuvia chips in late 2023

Too bad everyone else is pretty much on track with their processors


Qualcomm has vowed to unleash a generation of laptop processors that will rival Apple's M-series chips, though they won't arrive until late 2023.

That's the latest word from Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, who said development is "on track" for the Arm-compatible, Windows-friendly system-on-chips during his company's second-quarter earnings call [PDF] last week.

The update provides a little more granularity to the general 2023 shipping timeline Qualcomm provided last fall for its M-class laptop chips, whose custom CPU cores and design team were gained through Qualy's $1.4 billion acquisition of Nuvia in early 2021.

At the time of the last update, Qualcomm said it planned to offer samples of its Nuvia chips to laptop makers in late 2022. If that roadmap is still in place, it means laptop makers will have samples of the silicon roughly a year ahead of when Qualcomm plans to ship the chips.

During the earnings call last week, Amon said there is "broad interest" in the Nuvia components, which he called "industry leading." He added that the processors will "drive the inevitable transition" to Arm-based computing, creating disruptions for x86 giants Intel and AMD.

To date, Qualcomm's laptop efforts of late have been driven by Snapdragon processors based on CPU designs licensed from Arm.

Amon said Qualcomm's plans to become a bigger player in laptops, including the roll-out of its Nuvia chips, "are on track." He added that his biz has a "number of design wins" for its latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chips, and that Qualcomm's chips are fully supported by Windows 11.

With the Nuvia chips, Qualcomm is planning a major pivot by turning to custom core designs that were destined for servers when Nuvia was a startup.

Qualcomm's confidence that it can take on Apple's high-performance processors for laptops is based in part on the fact that Nuvia was founded by Apple semiconductor veterans, including Gerard Williams, who was chief architect of the iPad and iPhone's custom silicon.

The big question is how Qualcomm's Nuvia chips will compare to the latest silicon from Apple when they hit the market. While Apple has been making good use of its M1 family through different permutations, such as the M1 Max, the consumer tech giant has been edging closer to the release of its next-generation M2 chips that will go inside various MacBooks and Macs.

If you're curious about where things will be at in x86 world in late 2023, here is where things currently stand: Intel said it plans to launch its Meteor Lake client processors in 2023, which will then be followed by Arrow Lake at some point in 2024. Those processors will rely on the Intel 4 and Intel 20A nodes, which were previously known as Intel's 7nm and 5nm processes. They will also make use of TSMC's 3nm process.

As for AMD, things are less clear in 2023, though it will likely give an update on such matters during a financial analyst event in June. The company most recently said its next-generation Zen 4 architecture will debut in PCs with the release of the 5nm Ryzen 7000 CPUs later this year. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Drone ship carrying yet more drones launches in China
    Zhuhai Cloud will carry 50 flying and diving machines it can control with minimal human assistance

    Chinese academics have christened an ocean research vessel that has a twist: it will sail the seas with a complement of aerial and ocean-going drones and no human crew.

    The Zhu Hai Yun, or Zhuhai Cloud, launched in Guangzhou after a year of construction. The 290-foot-long mothership can hit a top speed of 18 knots (about 20 miles per hour) and will carry 50 flying, surface, and submersible drones that launch and self-recover autonomously. 

    According to this blurb from the shipbuilder behind its construction, the Cloud will also be equipped with a variety of additional observational instruments "which can be deployed in batches in the target sea area, and carry out task-oriented adaptive networking to achieve three-dimensional view of specific targets." Most of the ship is an open deck where flying drones can land and be stored. The ship is also equipped with launch and recovery equipment for its aquatic craft. 

    Continue reading
  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022