Qualcomm wants to target all ‘all form factors’ with SoCs that power Copilot+ PCs

As Arm CEO declares his architecture is now the de facto Windows standard

Computex Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon has used his keynote at Taiwan’s Computex tech conference to signal he wants to tackle more of the PC market.

In case you came in late, a couple of weeks back Qualcomm’s long-promised Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus Arm-compatible system-on-chips (SoCs) emerged in “Copilot+ PCs", a moniker Microsoft invented to describe laptops using the silicon and its NPU - or any NPU with 40 TOPS or more.

Amon today said 22 vendors have put its silicon to work in forthcoming laptops, then offered a throwaway line “Elite is X coming to all form factors” [of PC].

The CEO’s remarks were accompanied by an image of myriad Qualcomm-powered PCs, including what looked like one image of a mini-PC.

Such machines are often deployed in industrial settings – just the sort of environment where the energy-sipping Arm architecture that powers the Elite X platform thrives.

Amon also claimed that the X Elite is the most powerful PC processor, full stop, making the prospect of a desktop or workstation using the Qualcomm SOCs tantalizing.

A move into PCs other than laptops appears not to be a stretch for Qualcomm: it already makes a developer kit in mini-PC form factor.

Or perhaps Amon was just thinking of the myriad laptop form factors, given the first batch of Copilot+ PCs are small and light machines.

No Windows RT replay for Arm

The Qualcomm boss’s remarks came after Arm CEO Rene Haas used his earlier Computex keynote to declare his company’s processor architecture the “de facto choice” for every major operating system, even Windows.

Arm CEO aims to conquer half the Windows world in 5 years


On the same day that AMD unveiled two new PC processor families very much aimed at Windows, Haas listed Microsoft’s OS alongside Android, Chrome, Apple’s iOS, and Linux in all settings, as now preferring to run on Arm.

That’s fighting talk, given Arm-powered PCs have small market share, and Linux’s dominance of the server OS market.

But Hass suggested Microsoft is making the right moves to make his statement real. The Arm CEO reminisced about the Surface RT, the Arm-powered laptop Microsoft launched alongside Windows 8 for Arm in 2012. The machine was not a hit.

Hass reasoned the devices didn’t take off for lack of native software.

That’s not an issue now. In their respective keynotes, he and Amon enthused about the range of apps that have been coded for Windows on Arm, and Hass suggested Arm-powered devices will therefore succeed this time around. Amon cited performance data for content creation apps, and the power of such software when powered by an NPU, as further evidence Windows on Arm will succeed.

Their point was somewhat diluted by the inclusion of a Lenovo demo depicting the same AI-powered digital assistant - and the same text-to-image use case - during both AMD’s and Qualcomm’s keynotes.

Haas used his keynote to suggest the server is Arm’s next conquest, citing power efficiency outcomes recorded by the likes of Google, AWS, and Microsoft with their homebrew Arm CPUs.

Which leaves Arm pushing into the datacenter, Qualcomm pushing into more of the PC market, AMD claiming its used x86 to make the best processor for AI PCs … and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger to address Computex tomorrow. The Register will be there to hear what he has to say. ®

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