Qualcomm has eyes on a bigger prize than dominating the smartphone chipset market, as the Snapdragon X Elite processor looks set to take on Intel, Apple and AMD — a new mobile platform for laptops.
One question that was left up in the air during the October announcement was around when we would see it launched? Now we have an answer, but alongside that, there was an even juicier bit of news.
During an earnings call, the CEO of Qualcomm, Cristiano Amon, confirmed that laptops sporting the Snapdragon X Elite will launch in “mid-2024.” Most interestingly, though, is the fact that Amon also said the proposed launch will coincide with the “next version of Windows,” which could be a big tip-off for an imminent Windows 12 release date.
X gon’ give it to ya (in a few months time)
Qualcomm has called Snapdragon X Elite the “most powerful, intelligent, and efficient processor in its class for Windows,” and it’s clear that both AMD and Intel are going to be a little nervous this summer.
Of course, with the announcement of this chip occurring before any official word on Apple’s M3 MacBook Pro and Intel’s Core Ultra chipsets came at the end of last year, Qualcomm has only been able to confirm that its CPUs are more powerful than 13th Gen Intel and M2. But the company has claimed its upcoming chip is 21% faster than Apple's M3 silicon.
Not only that, but Qualcomm has added an AI engine to the X Elite too, which is capable of 75 TOPS (trillion operations per second) — that’s a huge increase over the roughly 34 TOPS the Intel Core 7 165H chip is capable of. This puts it in a hugely advantageous position for the notebook market.
The cat’s out the bag?
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Amon also said that the chipset launch will coincide with the “next version of Windows.” On top of that, he confirmed what is quite an obvious assumption — there will be “a lot of the Windows AI capabilities.”
Now, does this mean Windows 12? In one word, maybe. While Amon did call it the “next version.” Windows Central’s Zac Bowden reportes that instead, users can look forward to a significant update to Windows 11 with these features, rather than a brand new version.
But from this big tip from Qualcomm, the Intel leak talking about a 2024 release, and a report from Taiwan’s Commercial Times in December saying PC manufacturers expect Windows 12 to drop in June, signs are pointing to something new coming sooner rather than later.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.