The PC realm has long been dominated by Intel and AMD when it came to CPUs, but Qualcomm, a name synonymous for providing high-end mobile processors is looking to jump into the PC processor market.
During a Windows Hardware Engineering Community event held last Thursday, Qualcomm made a surprise appearance and announced that they are partnering with Microsoft to bring the full Windows 10 experience to their line of mobile processors, starting with their upcoming Snapdragon processors.
The Windows operating system has been the realm of the x86 architecture, but no longer. Both Qualcomm and Microsoft said that Windows 10 powered PCs could be available as early as next year. Qualcomm adds that their next gen processors will be able to run Win32 apps through x86 emulation on Windows 10. This is a gamechanger for Qualcomm, since that means resource heavy desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop will be able to run on Snapdragon processors, and run them well. The video demo linked above showed a device that ran Windows 10 on a Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM. That’s basically the spec sheet of most Android flagship phones today.
This is potentially bad news for Intel. The company has doubled down on the PC market after its unceremonious exit from the mobile processor market earlier this year. If that wasn’t bad enough, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips are capable of running without fans, in thin form factors and promises long battery life as well as superior radio suites.
You needn’t wait long for the first Windows 10 notebooks running Snapdragon chips on them – CES is fast approaching, and we expect the first devices to be announced there at the beginning of January.