It seems Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s new CEO has some big plans for out-competing Apple in terms of laptop performance. Earlier this year, Qualcomm hired ex-employees of Apple when it acquired Nuvia. The CEO told Reuters that he believes Qualcomm could come out as the world’s best processor but for that, the company would have to design chips in a better way than what Apple’ did with the M1 chip.
Previously, before becoming the CEO, Amon was head of Qualcomm’s semiconductor division and was in charge of the company’s acquisition of Nuvia for $1.4 billion. Note that Nuvia start-up was founded by three former Apple engineers who specialize in chip design and worked on Apple’s A-series SOCs. Qualcomm hired those founders and it seems they will be designing chips for consumer computers.
Qualcomm believes it would be able to start selling Arm laptop chips powered by Nuvia’s designs from next year.
Amon also hopes to provide a better laptop experience, by building 5G connectivity into its laptop-focused CPUs. Basically, it seems Qualcomm wants to do something that Apple has not done yet. For example, Apple has not yet tried adding 5G or any cellular compatibility.
Note that despite the demand, Apple rejected it for M1 powered Macs. However, M1 powered iPad Pro has a 5G option. Qualcomm wants to become a dominant player in the laptop market. Note that though big techs like Microsoft use Qualcomm designed chips in flagships like Surface Pro X, the list of Windows PCs with Qualcomm chip is not a big one.
Similarly, it will be difficult for Qualcomm because Intel won’t allow Arm chips to take over without a fight. Lately, Intel is working on hybrid CPUs which are focused on the battery but uses an x86 architecture.
In his interview with Reuters, Amon discussed about challenges and opportunities the company faces due to sanctions in China. In the interview, he specified the company’s struggles to become a household name like Intel or AMD.