ARM/Qualcomm WILL challenge Intel but not until next year

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It’s nice to see that they rushed out this Snapdragon 850 but I’m very confident that still won’t be enough to get these devices to the point where someone would actually want to buy one, especially if this Intel powered small Surface tablet comes out later this year (and iPads are much nicer and faster than a Snapdragon 850 Windows tablet). BUT, next year, ARM/Qualcomm chips like the Snapdragon 850 will be manufactured on the new 7nm process from TSMC or Samsung, and then Intel will have a real problem on their hands. Best case scenario, Intel starts shipping decent 10nm chips late 2019, more likely 2020 (SemiAccurate wrote an article about this recently). Qualcomm could become the new AMD! Very exciting times. We could see Qualcomm powered Windows tablets everywhere soon

Comments (5)

5 responses to “ARM/Qualcomm WILL challenge Intel but not until next year”

  1. skane2600

    I think in those applications where backward compatibility isn't important, such as Chromebooks, I think Qualcomm can challenge Intel eventually. Of course ARM chips by all makers dominate the smartphone market due to that environment's sensitivity to power consumption and the lack of compatibility requirements.

    • Simard57

      In reply to skane2600:

      I have mixed feelings about this... If a program is a supported product of a responsible developer and the creation of ARM native version is as easy as been reported, it would be on the vendor to publish a native version. If a program is unsupported, it can still be run provided it is 32-bit in the emulation subsystem. People that are dependent on unsupported programs have already accepted some limitations in there no longer being updates so this is another cost but as I said - programs can still being run.


      the ones that are out of luck are programs that are 64-bit only and are unsupported - how many of these are there?


      related but slightly off topic - does a 64-bit Program require a 64-bit OS? when Adobe publishes a program (elements) in 64-bit only, can they be run on a 32-bit Windows OS ?

      • wright_is

        In reply to Simard57:

        It isn't so simple. A lot of 32-bit software won't even run on Windows XP, 7, 8 or 10... I've seen instances of VMs running WIndows 2000, because critical hardware uses a driver that hasn't been updated since the late 90s and won't run on anything newer than Windows 2000.

  2. Paul Thurrott

    I'm not sure why you think the 850 was rushed---it's actually part of a broader strategy to expand Qualcomm's processor reach---but I guess we'll see. The WOA/ARM stuff speaks to a very specific part of the market that isn't helped by the poor performance of the 835. I can't say what the 850 experience is like yet.

    • Bdsrev

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Apparently the 850 was going to come out later this year (September or October) but they rushed it out once reviewers pointed out how terrible performance was on the first gen devices. Also, it's just an 845 but they bumped the clocks and renamed it to 850. The 7nm model coming out early next year is going to be a big deal, TSMC and Samsungs "7nm" process is significantly better than Intels 14nm+++

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