The conversion from three-digit model numbers to individual digits in the Snapdragon processors makes the nomenclature simpler, but also restricts it. In order to differentiate between different SoCs of the same series in the future – Qualcomm differentiates between Snapdragon 4, 6, 7 and 8 – and generation, letters are added to the digits. The high-end series will be expanded to include the Snaodragon 8+ and the Snapdragon 8x over the coming year, according to CMO Don McGuire in a media round at the Snapdragon Summit.
One can especially look forward to the Snapdragon 8x, because, as McGuire further explained, the work of the Nuvia team should come into effect in this processor for the first time. As a reminder: Qualcomm had taken over the startup Nuvia around three former chip developers from Apple at the beginning of the year for an amount of 1.4 billion dollars. Qualcomm has high hopes for the upcoming “Nuvia Cores”, as these ARM-based computing cores should be as powerful as the computing units in Apple’s M1 processors. McGuire spoke of the 8x as a “supercharged Snapdragon”, an even stronger variant of the Snadragon 8.
Before the takeover, Nuvia had only presented a computing kernel, called Phoenix, which was intended for use in servers and was not yet ready for the market. The team around CEO Gerard Williams, Apple’s former chief chip developer, and his colleagues Manu Gulati and John Bruno switched completely to Qualcomm with the takeover. In addition to the mobile processors, the Nuvia know-how is to come into play above all in the area of Qualcomm’s computing processors. The successor to the newly introduced Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 should run on the basis of Nuvia cores and will be presented in the coming year.
New Snapdragon names thanks to new CEO
The changeover to the single-digit model numbers, including letters and generation information, was achieved after many years of efforts by moving from Cristiano Amon to the company’s executive chair. Previously, Amon and McGuire could not have prevailed with the wish, so the head of marketing. Investigations and surveys in important markets have shown that customers only paid attention to the first number and thus the respective model series. The Snapdragon is now called as an independent brand and no longer together with Qualcomm, made McGuire to the higher awareness. Even this step was by no means spontaneous, but was taken carefully and in consultation with hardware partners.