We talked about TSMC a little while ago because they were shoving upwards of 21 billion dollars toward developing smaller chips, namely the upcoming 7nm chips that a lot of tech companies are eating up. But today isn’t about TSMC, this time we’re talking about one of those companies that’s going to take that 7nm chip size and do something cool with it.
Qualcomm has been limiting themselves to the mobile market for some time now, developing processors capable of playing candy crush and touch-control Minecraft. Their Snapdragon line of processors has been keeping the public relatively happy with their mobile devices, which don’t really need too much power outside of streaming videos and working on Microsoft Office applications. However, more details have come out from the site Winfuture concerning the previously hinted at processor: the Snapdragon 1000. A processor built, from the ground up, for PC use.
Now, Qualcomm has already revealed the Snapdragon 850, which is basically a souped up 835 which is targeted towards heavier machines, for instance, the 2-1 Notebook that Samsung is developing with the processor. Giving it more room than it would in a smartphone allows the processor to run 30% faster than an 835 at almost 3GHz while also supporting up to 1.2 Gbps transfer speeds, HDR displays, and 4k footage filmed through an onboard camera.
While that’s impressive and all, but it looks like the Snapdragon 1000 is going to take things even further and even enter the ring with Intel’s line of low-power processors. There are no specific specs yet, but the reference design leaked on the internet showed the processor running at 12W with 16GB of RAM with two 128GB drives and Gigabit WLAN ethernet. The chip is also being said to have a size of 20x15mm which is bigger than most ARM chips now, and will also be using the next generation Cortex-A76 ARM architecture which will provide a significant speed boost compared to previous chips.
Intel has been running their x86 processors for decades now, and with the announcement that some new Windows 10 PCs will be running with Snapdragon processors it’s safe to say that they aren’t very happy about where this is going. But it’s not just the power that has them rattled, it’s the fact that the new Windows 10 PCs will be emulating Intel’s x86 structure, and according to Intel, “We do not welcome unlawful infringement of our patents, and we fully expect other companies to continue to respect Intel’s intellectual property rights.”. Intel has already had battles with the likes of companies like AMD and Cyrix, and once upon a time they also cracked down on Transmeta who tried to do the same emulation process that Qualcomm’s doing now. The difference is, Qualcomm has more resources than Transmeta did, so Intel is being quiet for now. But it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the future.