Qualcomm working on laptop chips to challenge Apple's M-series silicon

The mobile phone chipmaker has its sights set on advanced laptop processors.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
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Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon speaking at the company's investor event in 2021.


Qualcomm is poised to take on the laptop processor business in force with its next-generation chips. At least, that's the vision outlined Tuesday by Qualcomm President and CEO Cristiano Amon at the company's Investor Day 2021 event.

When asked about Qualcomm's ambitions for the laptop market, Amon first spoke highly of Apple's latest M-series laptop chips. He praised the Arm-based processors both for their speed and efficient SoC (system-on-a-chip) design. 

He also said that Qualcomm is "actively working to build the benchmark of performance for this new architecture," specifically for Windows PCs with Arm processing. Samples of Qualcomm's next-gen chips are expected to head to device makers next year, while products featuring them could launch in 2023.

Qualcomm has made Arm-based chips for Windows PCs before. For example, it partnered with Microsoft to create the SQ1 and SQ2 SoC processors found in the Surface Pro X (2020). That said, the model isn't known for extreme computing power. 

It's likely this new move for Qualcomm is directly related to its purchase of Nuvia. This company is significant because it uses Arm-based chips to build servers. Nuvia was also run by former Apple chip executives.