Google to court Qualcomm, jilted lover Intel may be put out in the cold

by: John DyeFebruary 5, 2016
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intel logo HuangJiahui

Intel might be on the verge of losing one of its biggest customers. Word on the street is that Google is looking to tap Qualcomm to produce its server chips going forward, according to Bloomberg. Although this wouldn’t ruin Intel, it would certainly be a serious hit to the company’s bottom line.

If these rumors are true, Google will announce next week that they’ve decided to endorse Qualcomm’s chips over their long-time supplier Intel. Although Intel still supplies practically all of the chips on the server market, this is a slackening trade. As it stands, Google currently purchases nearly a third of a million computer chips every quarter from Intel, landing the search giant as Intel’s third largest customer behind HP and Dell.

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Mobile tech is on the rise, and Qualcomm has made a name for themselves in this niche, producing the majority of chips for all non-Apple smartphones currently on the market. Intel has historically leaned on PC tech, which is in decline compared to mobile devices. It seems like Google has seen the value that Qualcomm has been bringing to the table on Android devices, and they may be looking to make the chipmaker their go-to resource for server chips as well. If they decide to go through with this, it will be a serious blow to Intel since the company currently tracks full half of its income from server-based sales.

What are your thoughts regarding this business maneuver? Would Google be making the right move switching to Qualcomm, or should they remain loyal to their long-time provider? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!

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  • moew

    820 snapdragon will be manufactured by Samsung.

    • Hunter Miller

      But designed by Qualcomm

      • moew

        But manufactured by Samsung. I guess you missed that in my post about manufactured by Samsung. So it will be, again, manufactured by Samsung. Samsung. Manufactured. INvented.

        • Hunter Miller

          Samsung didn’t invent it

          • moew

            Apple must have invented it, they invent everything

          • Tjaldid

            Amd doesn’t even make their own chips

          • moew

            Who makes potato chips?

          • TheDude

            lol.
            these two guys are so dense.

          • moew

            IKR! And they like talking to honeybadgers! Thanks Dude!

          • Bharath Acharya

            lol

        • balcobomber25

          Samsung did not invent it they are just manufacturing it. Qualcomm designed it, ARM invented the cores.

    • Kody

      I don’t mean this in an insulting or condescending way but what’s your point? Ok, Samsung makes the 820, so what?

  • Stephen Sharp

    As always, competition is good. Looking forward to ARM competing in not only servers, but desktops and laptops as well in the future

    • Tjaldid

      They seriously need to come out with desktop chips to cease the moment

      • Stephen Sharp

        Tegra X1 really is a “Desktop class” chip, however we can’t just stick it in our motherboards and go lol

    • Richard Riker

      as long as no desktop programm can run on ARM chips, this wont happen. And it does not look like that any desktop OS can do that or will be able to in the near future. Sure, it would be great especially in Laptops and other devices where you want to be as much power efficient as possible without the need of much power to be able to run on ARM chips, but Windows RT was a joke and MacOS on ARM chips is only a rumor

      • balcobomber25

        Several Linux distros have ARM versions including Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and Arch. There are also rumors of a Windows 10 version that work on ARM.

        • Stephen Sharp

          I second this, my favorite OS is Ubuntu and it works fine on ARM. Many Chromebooks run on ARM as well

          • balcobomber25

            I used to use Ubuntu on a Chromebook and it worked pretty good. Now I use Ubuntu on a Macbook (as well as a second Macbook with OSX).

  • Paul Fallon

    Yes why not I think the two working together will go far!

  • beast thegreat

    I fear this can bring a big blow to the pc users as after accomplishing Qualcomm dream to enter the server market with a bang but the expansion feeling would make them sail to the personal computer and i do not want that because arm is not developed enough for that and i do not want to keep on changing my personal computers as my phones sorry Qualcomm but Intel is just beast and great with long term support for there processors

  • teomor

    F*ck Intel and their overpriced sh1t! It’s time they get a good slap and come back to reality.

  • Mohamed Salim

    Intel processors are not that good they are horrible for gaming

    • Dusan

      What’s better, AMD? Not really. A lot of Intel processor cost as much as whole high end Android phones and are very powerful for gaming.
      I’m using overclocked 3770K today and it’s still great for all new games. The development is sluggish though, but being able to use 5+ year old processors that still kick ass for gaming is in no way “horrible for gaming”. Heck, some people still use i7 920, which is what, 8 years old? And it’s still perfectly fine for gaming.
      We’re at least 10 years away from Intel being threatened by Qualcomm. Or any other processor manufacturer.

      • chris pinkston

        Later this year AMD will release the new Zen architecture based FX processors. This should at least bring some much needed competition to the desktop/laptop processors.

        • Dusan

          It could and hopefully will (for us who are customers sake) but since Bulldozer, I don’t think they can pull it off.

      • Mohamed Salim

        on android phone intel processor are very low for gaming i was thinking about getting the asus zenphone 2 but when i saw videos about how bad the intel processor in it is i did not get it i got a nexus phone instead also i think high level intel processor is good but it will never beat nividea intel processor lag on 4 gb of ram on my laptop i had to upgrade the ram to 8 just to run gta 5 also because its an intel processor and not a nividea one i can not up all graphics on high i can put some but not all

        • Dusan

          Not sure what you’re talking about, nVidia doesn’t make desktop processors. There are no single Nvidia CPU’s that can run GTA V.
          You’re probably mixing up integrated Intel GPU with nVidia GPU which are mostly dedicated GPU’s. Nvidia makes far superior desktop GPU’s, Intel is leading in CPU design.

          • Mohamed Salim

            Yes there is my laptop is duel though Intel and nividea Intel processors are power ful but they will never be more powerful then nividea one I have the nexus 9 it has tegra k1 processors a processor that works in laptop but they managed to get it into the nexus 9

          • Mohamed Salim

            Also I wish Intel could make powerful gpu’s the Intel HD graphics card with 1 gb that’s not powerful it works with ram so depending on ram it goes higher

  • E Stoner

    Did I miss something? Why the change? It isn’t expounded upon in the story

  • My Galaxy Prime

    This partnership may actually be beneficial for Android users. What if, with this deal, Qualcomm and Google agreed to allow Google to design the chips that will be used in Android devices? By doing this, Android will be optimized for only 1 chip, which also means faster updates. Qualcomm does make the chips for most of the android devices on the market so this makes sense to me. What do you think?

    • AbbyZFresh

      Companies like MediaTek will hate this move. It shows Qualcomm getting privileged treatment.

      • My Galaxy Prime

        Now that I think about it, you’re right. Lol forget I said anything

    • balcobomber25

      While that would be nice it would never happen. Google wouldn’t risk alienating Mediatek, Samsung, Huaweii (Kirin), Leadcore, Rockchip, MIPS and the numerous other manufactuers that design chips that work with Android. Google would loose billions if they did that. Not to mention that Mediatek and Google created the Android One platform.

      • My Galaxy Prime

        Lol I should take down my comment. I smoked before I wrote that. After becoming sober again, I realized how ridiculous my idea would be. Smh I should really delete my post.

        • balcobomber25

          In theory it’s not a bad idea. One of the key advantages that Apple has is it’s software is so incredibly optimized because they only have to focus on a making it work for a few devices. Android is run thousands of different devices every year from hundreds of companies. In theory having one set platform and one set of SoC’s would make sense, but it’s too late in the game for that.

  • Thomas Waznis

    Should be nice to Nvidia too. 3 major suppliers would require more management but Qualcom has has a dud. It will happen to all 3 at some time.

  • Richard Riker

    1. Qualcomm does not produce any chips, they are designing them. Production is by TSMC and at least in future Samsung.
    2. if they can run their stuff on ARM-Chips, why not? They may not be as powerfull as Intel Chips but they are much more power efficient. And if you run hundrets of servers with hundrets or even millions of thousands of processors, you want to make everything as power efficient as possible.

    • Choda Boy

      “hundrets”???

  • Ichibanmugen

    For now this will only be interesting for Server farms. As ARM chips are more power efficient than X86 and there is plenty of support already in the Linux community which I bet most of not all Google servers run on.