Qualcomm Enters Intel PC Stronghold

Release time:2017-06-03
source:EE Times

 With Qualcomm’s announcement of its Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC platform, the company is entering Intel’s CPU turf, where the world’s biggest chipmaker has held more than half of the market for more than three decades.

The new Snapdragon draws on ARM’s processor portfolio, fulfilling a plan that Microsoft announced for Windows 10 with Qualcomm at a Shenzhen, China event late last year. For the first time, Windows will work with all the usual apps, peripherals and enterprise capabilities on a mobile, power efficient, always-connected cellular PC, Microsoft said at the time.

Windows 10, released in 2015, introduces what Microsoft calls "universal apps" that can run on multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code‍, ‌including platforms such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems and Xbox One.

(Photo: Qualcomm)

While Qualcomm rolled out endorsements from a number of PC OEMs, including Asus and Lenovo at this week’s Computex show in Taipei, some analysts had reserved praise for the new Snapdragon chip.

“On paper, it's quite promising if it can really achieve such long battery life and always-on connectivity that x86-based systems might struggle with,” said Bryan Ma, vice president of devices research with market researcher IDC. “The trick, though, is in the emulation. I actually just got a demo this morning, and it was better than I thought it would be, but wasn't perfect.”

The Snapdragon 835 is a work in progress, Ma said, adding that he’s waiting for more test results after PC systems finally reach the market. It may still take as many as five years before there’s a noticeable impact on Intel from the Qualcomm chip, according to Ma.

In the meantime, Intel can count on strong OEM marketing programs that Qualcomm isn't accustomed to. Intel is likely to dominate the hardcore desktop space that Qualcomm isn't touching with this solution.

Even so, Qualcomm appears to be winning over OEMs with this latest effort that exploits Intel’s weakness in the mobile systems market.

"The PC ecosystem continues to evolve, and this evolution requires new innovations in an ever-increasing mobile computing world," said Jerry Shen, chief executive officer of Asus. "With the Snapdragon Mobile PC Platform powering our new lineup of Windows 10 devices, our users now can take advantage of new always on, always connected experiences available to them."

The world’s largest PC maker, Lenovo, also endorsed the new Qualcomm chip.

"We're excited to work with Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies to bring a whole new class of devices to consumers that will change the future of personal computing," said Jeff Meredith, a Lenovo senior vice president.

The Snapdragon 835 SoC built into the Mobile PC Platform features the Qualcomm Kryo 280 CPU, the Adreno 540 GPU and the Hexagon 682 DSP to manage separate heterogenous workloads.

The 10nm Snapdragon 835 provides devices with superior thermal handling and greater power efficiency, enabling fanless designs with longer battery life, according to Qualcomm. With an integrated Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem, devices will be able to support peak download speeds of up to 1Gbps. The Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform will also feature 2x2 802.11ac MU-MIMO for optimal Wi-Fi connectivity on the go, Qualcomm said.

The Qualcomm-Microsoft partnership widens a split between Intel and Microsoft, the two companies that have up to now dominated the PC business in what has come to be known as the Wintel alliance.

"We are thrilled that OEMs are sharing our vision to bring the Windows 10 experience to the ARM ecosystem, powered by Qualcomm Technologies," said Matt Barlow, corporate vice president of Windows marketing for Microsoft. "This collaboration offers consumers something new that they have been craving – the best of a mobile computing experience with the best of Windows 10, all in one thin, light, connected device."

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Taking its legal battle with chip making giant Qualcomm to the next level, Apple has claimed it wanted to use Qualcomm modems in its 2018's iPhone models but the chip maker refused to sell them after being sued by the iPhone maker over its licensing practices.The US Federal Trade Commission(FTC) has accused Qualcomm of operating a monopoly in wireless chips, forcing companies such as Apple to work with it exclusively and charging excessive licensing fees for its technology.According to Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams's testimony in court during the FTC trial against Qualcomm, the latter refused to sell its 4G LTE modems to Apple because of the companies' licensing dispute, the CNET reported late on Monday.The chip making giant continues to provide the iPhone maker with chips for its older models, including the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus."The strategy was to dual-source in 2018 as well. We were working toward doing that with Qualcomm but in the end they would not support us or sell us chips," the report quoted William as saying.Apple reportedly dialled Intel's CEO at the time, Brian Krzanich, to ask the company to supply all modems needed for the iPhone instead of only half the volume.However, Williams' comments appear to contradict testimony from Qualcomm's CEO Steven Mollenkopf.Mollenkopf on Friday had said on the stand that as of spring 2018, Qualcomm was still trying to win a contract supplying chips for iPhones but that it hadn't "had any new business" from Apple since its previous contracts expired, the report added.
2019-01-16 00:00 reading:596
Qualcomm has announced its next-generation modem purpose-built for Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as asset trackers, health monitors, security systems, smart city sensors and smart meters, as well as a range of wearable trackers.The Qualcomm 9205 LTE modem has been designed to bring together key innovations required to build cellular-enabled IoT products and services in a single chipset, including global multimode LTE category M1 (eMTC) and NB2 (NB-IoT) as well as 2G/E-GPRS connectivity, application processing, geolocation, hardware-based security, support for cloud services and accompanying developer tools.“The innovations included in the Qualcomm 9205 LTE modem are critical to support many of the 6 billion IoT devices expected to use low-power, wide-area connectivity by 2026,” said Vieri Vanghi, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Europe. “LTE IoT technologies are the foundation of how 5G will help connect the massive IoT, and we are making these technologies available to customers worldwide to help them build innovative solutions that can help transform industries and improve people’s lives.”“The Qualcomm 9205 modem is expanding the IoT ecosystem by providing a solid foundation for future-proof, multimode LTE-M and NB-IoT Cinterion Modules designed to enable worldwide LPWAN connectivity as networks evolve,” said Andreas Haegele, SVP IoT products, Gemalto. “Our security enhancements provide a strong framework for unique Gemalto services such as Device Lifecycle Management that help drive down TCO for device makers and IoT service providers.”
2018-12-19 00:00 reading:699
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