In an interview with Cnet, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon talked about the company’s future in the PC market, and supply constraints in relation to Apple.
Although, Qualcomm provides 5G modems to Apple for the latest 5G enabled iPhone and iPad models, the manufacturer is also Apple’s rival.
In 2020, Apple launched its custom-made M1 Apple Silicon for next-generation Macs which delivered exceptional performance and incredible battery life. In face of competition, both Intel and Qualcomm claimed that they would build better chips than M1.
Since then, Apple has unveiled the next-generation M2 chip at the WWDC 2022 Keynote, and Qualcomm has acquired Nuvia, a silicon startup formed by former engineers from Apple, Google, and Arm.
Qualcomm wants to capture the PC market with M-series like processors
Talking about the PC market, Amon said that he is thankful to Apple for developing the SoC (system-on-chip) M1 technology for next-generation Macs. And with Nuvia’s former M1 engineers in his company, Amon believes that Qualcomm will be able to convert Snapdragon into a successful PC chip.
But Apple showed that mobile processors not only work as the brains for computers, but they can become a key selling point. Amon said he’s thankful to Apple for driving the development of programs that work on Arm and noted that Microsoft’s also on this journey.
“The timing is now because you needed a perfect alignment of stars.” He’s banking on Nuvia to give him an edge.
Reportedly, Qualcomm’s Nuvia-based chips for Windows PC will launch in 2023 and will “serve as the lead in sustained performance and battery life” much better than M1 Apple Silicon. But the leaked benchmarks revealed a different reality.
The GeekBench v5 scores of the new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 were far behind M1 Apple Silicon in single-core and multi-core performance.
Discussing the company’s growth in midst of global chip shortage, COVID-19 challenges, and a potential loss of a big client, Apple, Amon said that Qualcomm is looking to diversify its supply chain by serving different industries like health care and automotive. And he appeared indifferent about the possibility of losing Apple’s modem business.
Potentially impacting Qualcomm is the loss of one of its biggest customers, Apple. The iPhone maker is reportedly working on its own modem to pair with its custom A-series processors. Qualcomm laid out guidance last year that by 2023, its share of modems powering Apple devices would drop to 20%, and single digits after that.
But Amon said Qualcomm is still seeing growth at the company, and whether Apple is ready to use its own modem isn’t up to him. “They know our number, they know where to find us,” he said.