Qualcomm has its sights set on Apple, with plans to take on the company’s M1 processor.
Apple rocked the computing industry last year when it announced it was transitioning its Mac platform to its own custom silicon, the M1. The company previously relied on Intel to power its computers, but the M1 offered major advantages.
Apple’s custom silicon is based on designs from Arm Holdings. As one of the original founders of Arm, however, Apple has the broadest license available, giving the company freedom to create truly custom chips. An evolution of the processors Apple has used in the iPhone and iPad for years, the M1 has unrivaled energy use, combined with stellar performance that rivals and exceeds Intel’s best offerings.
The move has put tremendous pressure on PC makers to deliver a competitive product. Similarly, Microsoft has been migrating Windows to Arm processors to help pave the way for adoption by the PC industry.
Qualcomm’s new CEO believes his company may have the answer to Apple. The company already creates Arm-based chips, much like Apple does, but Cristiano Amon told Reuters he believes the company needs its own line of custom silicon to help his customers better compete with Cupertino.
Amon’s efforts are aided by a number of former Apple engineers, including ones who worked on Apple’s chip, that now work for Qualcomm. The engineers came onboard when Qualcomm purchased chip startup Nuvia, a company that was founded by ex-Apple employees.
If Qualcomm is able to deliver on Amon’s vision, it could find itself in a strong position in the PC industry, building on its already enviable position in the smartphone market.