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Qualcomm will dish out custom CPUs for laptops next year

Laptop makers can get their hands on Qualcomm's new custom CPUs next year, but consumers will likely need to wait.

Published onMarch 16, 2021

Qualcomm 8cX macro
  • Qualcomm has revealed that its first custom CPUs as part of its Nuvia deal will be sampled next year.
  • The chipmaker confirmed that these CPUs will be designed for laptops at first.

Qualcomm announced a deal to purchase chip design company Nuvia earlier this year, with the company founded by influential Apple and Arm engineer Gerard Williams III.

At the time of the deal’s announcement, Qualcomm said Nuvia’s CPUs would land in flagship phones, laptops, and more. Now, the San Diego company has just announced that it has completed the acquisition, but it also revealed a major plan as a result of the deal.

“The first Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms to feature Qualcomm’s new internally designed CPUs are expected to sample in the second half of 2022 and will be designed for high performance ultraportable laptops,” read an excerpt of the press release posted by the firm.

When to expect these custom CPUs?

There’s usually a lengthy period of time between silicon being sampled by manufacturers and it appearing in commercially available products. So you can expect custom CPUs from Qualcomm to land inside lightweight laptops as soon as late 2022 or (more likely) in 2023.

This will nevertheless be the first time we’ve seen custom Qualcomm CPUs inside laptops. And it’s hard not to see this as a move against Apple and its recent Arm-powered computers, which are all running Apple’s M1 processor.

There’s no word on when we’ll see Qualcomm and Nuvia’s new custom CPUs inside phones though, but we’re guessing that the thermally constrained environment of smartphones is a much bigger hurdle to overcome than the laptop space.

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