Thursday, June 3, 2021
Qualcomm Inc yesterday said that it is working with local partners, including Acer Inc., to supply new Snapdragon processors for 5G-enabled laptops in its bid to challenge industry leader Intel Corp and expand its presence in the computer market.
The US chipmaker entered the notebook computer market four-and-a-half years ago with Microsoft Corp, but did not achieve as much market uptake as it had hoped.
Together with Microsoft and Google Inc’s Chrome, Qualcomm aims to transfer all top-class and essential applications on mobile phones to laptop computers, said Alex Katouzian, a senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Technologies Inc’s mobile business.
The firm said its Snapdragon processors give laptops good artificial intelligence, videoconferencing and audio capabilities, along with a long battery life.
Those were the lessons Qualcomm learned in partnering with Microsoft and Google, Katouzian told a virtual media briefing for the Computex Taipei trade show.
With the new processors, Qualcomm is targeting every tier, from thin and light notebooks to Chromebooks and from entry-level to premium models, except for the gaming segment, he said.
Qualcomm announced its partnership with Acer, which is to use the Snapdragon 8cx Generation 2 5G Compute Platform to enable laptop users to use 5G millimeter wave or sub-6 gigahertz 5G technology to connect to the Internet.
During the virtual briefing, the Hsinchu-based Acer showcased four Windows 10 laptops operating on Snapdragon processors.
Qualcomm said that it would not rule out the possibility of extending its Snapdragon product line to desktops.
“Our roadmap does not currently address desktop PCs, but it is not a closed matter,” Katouzian said.
Qualcomm Technologies has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire semiconductor start-up Nuvia Inc for about US$1.4 billion, he said, adding that desktop computers “could be a category that we apply our technologies to and integrate with our SoC [system on a chip] later, but at this point we don’t have any plan.”
Nuvia has a central processing unit and technology design team, with strong expertise in SoCs, high-performance processors and power management for compute-intensive devices and applications, Qualcomm said.
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