Qualcomm: Big Windows AI upgrade, Snapdragon X Elite for mid 2024 to take on Apple M3

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Qualcomm has confirmed the Snapdragon X Elite, which is allegedly faster than Apple M3 chips, will ship in mid-2024 with a new version of Windows. However, the chipmaker has chosen to refer to this forthcoming operating system simply as ‘Windows,’ deliberately avoiding specific labels like ‘Windows 11’ or ‘Windows 12.’

For those unaware, Qualcomm revealed the Snapdragon X, a new laptop-class Arm CPU, during an event in 2023. Unlike the previous generation, Windows on ARM processors, Snapdragon Elite X is so powerful that it can outperform Apple’s M3 SoC. It can also compete against Intel and AMD’s x86 CPUs.

Speaking to the investors during the Q1 2024 earnings call, Qualcomm confirmed its new Apple M3-killer chipset dubbed “Snapdragon X Elite” will debut during the back-to-school season and is also tied to a Windows launch. According to Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon,  there will be plenty of “Elite X” models, hinting at “big plans”.

Qualcomm’s CEO, Cristiano Amon, stated that its Snapdragon X Elite chipset for PCs is scheduled for a mid-2024 release and is designed to work hand-in-hand with the next version of Windows.

“We’re tracking to the launch of products with this chipset tied with the next version of Microsoft Windows that has a lot of the Windows AI capabilities,” Amon said.

Qualcomm believes the mid-2024 timing aligns perfectly with the back-to-school season, aiming to make a significant impact in the market.

“We like that everybody is now talking about on-device AI on PC. That’s where we started this journey with X Elite. And I think that proved to be a tailwind to the opportunity for us in PCs,” Amon added.

Snapdragon Elite X and Windows next-gen
Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com

Qualcomm didn’t tell us the name of the next big Windows release, but the company confirmed that Microsoft is testing several AI features. It is worth noting that Qualcomm is an important partner of Microsoft, and it’s hoping that the next big Windows release will be a game changer in the market.

While answering another investor’s question, Qualcomm’s CEO highlighted increasing design wins since the Snapdragon Elite X’s announcement last October. The Snapdragon X Elite aims to set a new benchmark for next-generation Windows PCs, focusing on on-device AI, a field where Qualcomm has been pioneering.

This initiative is part of Qualcomm’s broader strategy following its acquisition of NUVIA, where the focus has shifted towards designing custom cores for the PC market. This move was motivated by the need to achieve performance leadership within the Windows ecosystem, requiring Qualcomm to develop its CPU technology.

The success of the X Elite chipset is seen as a stepping stone for Qualcomm, not just in PCs but across all its product lines. Previously, Qualcomm made some big claims that Snapdragon X Elite is much faster than Apple M3 chips, which was also observed in leaked benchmarks.

Is it Windows 11 or Windows 12?

While nobody knows whether the next version is Windows 12 or Windows 11, we’ve spotted multiple references to “Windows 11 24H2”.

A support document, first spotted by Windows Latest, also confirmed that Windows 11 version 24H2 codenamed “Hudson Valley” is most definitely on the way.

Windows 12 could happen at some point in the future, but it’s unlikely this year.

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