Qualcomm is known for making an extensive range of smartphone chips used in devices around the world, but it has ambitions to move into the mainstream notebook space.
The company’s ARM chips – such as the Snapdragon 845 – are being implemented in tablets and light notebooks, directly competing with Intel’s Atom and Celeron line-ups.
However, Qualcomm wants to challenge Intel’s more powerful x86 chips with its upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 processor.
Details around the new chip have already started to leak, portraying a powerful and efficient processor designed for use in Windows 10 laptops.
This, along with the development of Windows 10 for ARM by Microsoft, could spell trouble for Intel’s grasp on the laptop market.
According to information obtained by German technology website WinFuture, the internal name for Qualcomm’s new processor is SDM1000.
The chip is reportedly much more powerful than current-generation Snapdragon processors, and is set to challenge Intel’s “Y” and “U” Core processors in the notebook segment.
These Intel processors are common in light laptops like ultrabooks and have a power draw peaking at around 15W.
The leaked information states that the Snapdragon 1000 has a 6.5W TDP for the CPU component, and a total system-on-chip (SoC) power draw of 12W.
Qualcomm’s test platform for the Snapdragon 1000 reportedly had 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a pair of 128GB flash storage drives.
The chip also features 802.11ad Wi-Fi and Gigabit LTE, making it a suitable candidate for notebooks.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1000 is expected to be manufactured using TSMC’s 7nm process node and will use the ARM Cortex-76 architecture.
While it uses a 7nm manufacturing process, the Snapdragon 1000 will reportedly boast a chip size of 20mm x 15mm, which is much larger than other Snapdragon processors like the Snapdragon 850.
However, the average Intel processor it would be competing against has a chip size of 45mm x 24mm and draws more power than the new Snapdragon chip.
The leaked information also points to a unique configuration for mobile chip design, stating that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 will be a socketed chip.
In mobile products like laptops and tablets, the system-on-chip is usually soldered directly to the motherboard to save space – but the Snapdragon 1000 could reportedly fit into a dedicated motherboard socket, similar to a conventional desktop CPU.
While this may not be the case for all products, this design may allow users or manufacturers to swap out the chip for other processors compatible with the same socket.
If Windows 10 on ARM proves to be a success, and Qualcomm’s ARM chips boast the efficiency improvements promised, Intel may see its grip on the laptop market start to slip ever so slightly.