When you purchase through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

Upcoming 12-core Laptop SoC from Qualcomm to Compete with Apple Silicon’s Performance

With the rise of Apple Silicon, we had our real first glance at what was possible with ARM on computers including low power consumption and high performance alongside better software integration, and advanced features. Qualcomm has also been on this road for a while now and has nothing impressive to show for it. However, that might change with their upcoming 12-core laptop SoC for laptops.

Qualcomm 12-core Laptop Chip
Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 laptop SoC

Next-gen 12-core Laptop SoC from Qualcomm Will Reportedly Use Nuvia’s Pheonix Design

According to a new report from Kuba Wojciechowski (@Za-Raczke on Twitter), Qualcomm is finally gearing up to launch a new laptop SoC that should be capable enough to compete with Apple Silicon. This new SoC  (codename “Hamoa)” comes with 12 (8P+4E) cores and is based on Nuvia’s Phoenix design.

Qualcomm acquired Nuvia back in 2021 and if you weren’t aware, that company has former Apple engineers who worked on the A-series chips for iPhones and iPads. The M-series chips evolved from those same ones, so the company now has some input on the fabrication and engineering of Apple Silicon which can become a huge deal for this upcoming SoC and the ones that’ll come after it.

According to Kuba, the SoC will use a similar mem/cache config as the Apple M1 chip and come with support for dGPUs. The performance should be a major step up as well compared to the current 8cx chips from the company. However, Intel and Apple still hold exclusive rights to Thunderbolt, so do not expect support for Thunderbolt 5 or Thunderbolt 4.

The Current Problem with Windows on Snapdragon

Qualcomm released ARM-based PCs way before Apple did, but even in 2022, their performance and compatibility stats are much worse compared to laptops on x86 CPUs from Intel and AMD. Yes, the battery life is considerably better, but using these ARM Windows laptops is still a nightmare.

Even the new Microsoft Surface Pro 9 5G with the custom-designed SQ3 SoC (by Microsoft, based on Qualcomm 8cx Gen 3)  is performing way worse compared to its Intel 12th Gen counterpart. There might be a few extra features here and there alongside 5G connectivity, but if the user experience is bad, those things don’t really matter.

Qualcomm 12-core Laptop Chip
Windows on Snapdragon

The problem with Windows 11 running on ARM right now is the lack of seamless integration and optimization alongside messed up software and app compatibility. Apple controls everything around its devices including its SoCs, Hardware, and Software which helped them create amazing products and a seamless ecosystem around those products.

Microsoft on the other hand is way behind Apple in both hardware and software. Don’t get me wrong, if you pair Microsoft hardware and software with x86-based CPUs, you get a good experience. However, Apple currently outperforms that as well and Windows on ARM (which is much worse) is still impractical due to the issues I mentioned earlier.

If Qualcomm wants its upcoming 12-core laptop SoC to stand up to the Apple M2 (or even M1) in real-life user experience, first it needs to work closely with Microsoft to iron-out Windows 11’s compatibility and optimization problems for ARM. Otherwise, they can make the SoC as powerful as they want, but it’ll still fall victim to Windows. I remain optimistic though, and I hope we get much better 5G-connected Windows laptops with all-day battery life and great performance, soon enough.

Via: Windows Central

Photo of author

Ronit Roy

Ronit Roy is a Tech Reviewer, Writer, and Science Nerd from India. He specializes in Smartphones, Laptops, Televisions, Audio, and AI. Ronit has worked with Multi-national Tech OEMs and has a first-person understanding of how Modern Technology is shaping the world.

Leave a Comment