Monday, Jul 05, 2021, 18:16 Economy

Qualcomm Wants To Beat The M1 Chip – With Help From Former Apple Engineers

One year ago, Apple announced its decision to no longer rely on Intel chips for its products and would begin to produce its own in-house chips. It had already been known for years (thanks to countless reliable sources) that Apple was planning such a move, however, it only became official last summer. In the winter of 2020, Apple released the first Macs with inhouse processors – to the excitement of both customers and the press. The Apple M1 is abnormally fast, while also offering an as of yet unparalleled degree of energy efficiency. Even the chip giant and former Apple business partner Intel views the new Apple Silicon chips as a threat – and has launched a questionable series of insecurity riddled anti-Apple ads in response. Via the successful switch from Intel to ARM processors, Apple may have set an unstoppable stone rolling. Apple has proven that ARM-based processors, thought to be on their way out, are capable of more than just competing with but also beating Intel and AMD processors of the same class.

Qualcomm: We Can Beat The M1
Apple's A-chips have long been held up as an exemplary industry standard in the smartphone and tablet world and the same now applies to the Apple M1 with respect to the notebook market. Just recently, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon announced his company's intentions to compete with and even outperform the new Apple M1 – and not without help, making its way over to the San Diego-based company in the form of former Apple engineers.

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How Qualcomm Got Former Apple Engineers
At the end of 2019, Apple three very important Apple engineers (Gerard Williams III, Manu Galati, and John Bruno) founded a company by the name of Nuvia, with the goal of producing fast and efficient chips for data processing centers. However, Apple responded with legal action: according to Apple, Gerard Williams founded Nuvia while still an employee for Apple – considered a breach of his contract with the company. In addition, he also sought employees from within the company, which also isn't considered permissible in accordance with his contract. At the start of this year, Qualcomm purchased Nuvia for 1.4 billion US$ – and the important engineers took up positions at Qualcomm, which now employees several important former Apple employees with knowledge of the A-chip from memory. This subversive tactic should prove to be of enormous assistance to Qualcomm.

Not Entirely Convinced
In contrast with recent statements from Qualcomm's CEO, Reuters reports that Cristiano Amon isn't entirely confident in the company's recently announced plan and even has a plan B set up: should Qualcomm's own chip development not prove to be competitive enough, then the option to license CPU designs from ARM stands open.

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