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Snapdragon could take away Intel and AMD market shares for both Windows and Linux

The Snapdragon X Elite processor

Qualcomm has been in the middle of a lot of news lately. The company's Snapdragon X Plus and Elite processors are designed for Windows on Arm and are at the heart of the recently revealed Copilot+ AI PCs.

Those looking forward to AMD and Intel Copilot+ PCs can breathe a sigh of relief too as such devices will also come powered by Ryzen AI 300 series and Lunar Lake processors, with the latter having Windows-specific optimizations.

While the Snapdragon X's main focus seems to be around Windows PCs, the same can be said for Linux too. A company called Tuxedo is working on a Linux notebook powered by the Qualcomm chipset. Here's a prototype of that which was on display at Computex 2024 this year:

Tuxedo prototype Linux laptop powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon X

In a blog post, Tuxedo writes:

We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting an alternative to x86 notebooks. The new Snapdragon architecture makes this possible for the first time for Linux with comparable performance and lower energy requirements.

Arm already expects to take away 50% market share from x86 on the Windows side and this could be a double whammy though the impact should be far less.

In terms of where Snapdragon X currently stands as far as Linux support goes, Tuxedo points to a Qualcomm blog post where the latter has listed all the features that are being mainlined for Linux kernel versions 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, and 6.11. A summary has been provided too but you can find the full list of features here:

... our roadmap for the next six months includes work in these areas:

  • End-to-end hardware video decoding, on Firefox and Chrome
  • Implementation of the libcamera-SoftISP camera solution
  • GPU and CPU performance optimizations
  • Power optimizations (Suspend/DCVS)
  • Making our firmware openly available (in Linux-firmware)
  • Access to easy installers (Ubuntu and Debian)

In terms of release time frame, Tuxedo says it is still to be decided and it can be as early as the end of the year by around Christmas, but the firm itself is not certain about that:

It is quite conceivable that an ARM notebook from TUXEDO will be under your Christmas tree in 2024. However, there are still too many pieces of the hardware, software and delivery capability puzzle missing to even begin to set a release date. TUXEDO for ARM will come, but we don’t yet know exactly when.

Therefore, the devices should land after we already have Snapdragon X Windows PCs. You can learn more about it here on Tuxedo's official blog.

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