Qualcomm could make PC processors, fight with AMD & Intel

Qualcomm is well known for making processors for a number of smartphones and tablets. Now a Fudzilla story claims that an executive company could move into Intel and AMD's territories and make processors for PC desktops and notebooks.

The info comes from a chat with Qualcomm's Senior Vice President Enrico Salvatori. The article seems to suggest that Qualcomm's plans for notebooks and desktop processors are very much a long term goal for the company so you shouldn't expect to these kinds of chips being provided in the near future. The story hints there is an outside chance that an ultraportable notebook that runs Windows 8 could be released in late 2012.

Qualcomm makes processors based on the design created by ARM. NVIDIA is also making smartphones and tablets processors with ARM-based designs and has hinted that it might provide chips for desktops and notebook PCs as well. All of this talk has to worry AMD and especially Intel, who haven't made much of an impact in the growing smartphone and tablet markets. At the same time, PC notebooks and desktops, where Intel and AMD dominate, have seen a slowing of sales growth over the years.

Competition in any business market is always a good thing. It usually inspires companies to innovate and come up with new ideas for their products. If Qualcomm does indeed want to enter the desktop PC business at some point we would welcome it and would hope that Intel and AMD would respond by releasing processors that would try to top anything that Qualcomm comes out with.

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The extra competition will be important in driving down the price to be competitive with the cheap iPad and android tablets. Granted that windows 8 will be a different class of device, but every advantage will help.

remixedcat said,
and where's nvidia's regular desktop cpus???

They aren't allowed access to the aforementioned patents. Both Intel and AMD know that nVidia would crush them.

are we headed for the old days of Intel, AMD, Cyrix, and who knows how many other junk processors trying to compete?

Can't see why not. Start actively cooling them and you can reach extremely nice clock speeds while still retaining low power usage. If Windows 8 runs smoothly on ARM's you can expect these platforms to be extremely power-efficient and cheap while still having decent performance. Perfect for some video, browsing, word processing. AKA perfect for most normal usage.

Ambroos said,
Can't see why not. Start actively cooling them and you can reach extremely nice clock speeds while still retaining low power usage. If Windows 8 runs smoothly on ARM's you can expect these platforms to be extremely power-efficient and cheap while still having decent performance. Perfect for some video, browsing, word processing. AKA perfect for most normal usage.

Just clocking higher doesn't give you linearly higher performance. then we'd be uysing 40Ghz Pentium 4's today. and ARM scales TERRIBLY.

buletov said,
32bit CPUs again?

64-bit ARM CPUs are coming in 2014 but granted, I doubt there will be any ARM-based machines that are built with even 4GB RAM before then.

I thought the x86 processor market was basically closed for anyone except Intel and AMD, given the cross patent BS they've got going on. I always heard that's why Nvidia never got into the game, the barrier to entry for patent licencing was too high even for them.

All that said, with Win8 being available on for ARM processors too, x86(-64) could be starting down the slippery slope to obsolescence .

Majesticmerc said,

All that said, with Win8 being available on for ARM processors too, x86(-64) could be starting down the slippery slope to obsolescence .

You just answered your own doubt. They will make ARM PC processors for the ARM version of Windows 8.

Majesticmerc said,
I thought the x86 processor market was basically closed for anyone except Intel and AMD, given the cross patent BS they've got going on. I always heard that's why Nvidia never got into the game, the barrier to entry for patent licencing was too high even for them.

All that said, with Win8 being available on for ARM processors too, x86(-64) could be starting down the slippery slope to obsolescence .

My source is Wikipedia, but it essentially says it ism open as the patent as expired. Some specific patents are held by Intel and AMD though, but thinking about the timeline, even those are going to expire quite soon anyway.

Eddo89 said,

My source is Wikipedia, but it essentially says it ism open as the patent as expired. Some specific patents are held by Intel and AMD though, but thinking about the timeline, even those are going to expire quite soon anyway.

The thing is. X86 isn't standing still like it was back in the 80's. X86 isn't even remotely what it was back then, and Intel and AMD have both developed it onward, with AMD makign the x64 extensions wich was shared with Intel through their cross licensing. that was a major additions, over the years there are thousands of minor and major additions, revisions and extensions to X86 that Intel and AM develop and share.

sure the patents to create a basic x86 cpu may be "available" now. that however won't account for much as that would result in an unusuable, slow, outdated and incompatible CPU today.