Qualcomm CEO says 'you should expect to see Qualcomm in every PC form factor: From desktop to mini PCs, to tablets'

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon
(Image credit: Future)

Qualcomm's CEO, Cristiano Amon has doubled down on his keynote statement about the proliferation of the Snapdragon X Elite CPUs across "every PC form factor" and has even gone as far as to say that includes desktop. I've still not been able to get any firm answer on whether that includes the sort of desktops we're traditionally talking about on PC Gamer, but I've seen things in the existing X Elite BIOS that suggests they're ready to get up and running with discrete graphics cards. 

Whether that particular element ever comes into play in a gaming laptop with an attached graphics card from AMD, Nvidia, or Intel, or indeed a proper desktop version of the Qualcomm PC platform, we can't say for sure. But it's clear this is just the start of Qualcomm's plans for PC and that definitely includes spreading beyond just the thin-and-light range of laptops we've seen today.

"You should expect to see Qualcomm in every PC form factor: From desktop to mini PCs, to tablets," Amon reiterated at a Q&A event today. "And I think we're just seeing the beginning of a roadmap."

The differentiation between desktop and mini PC might be key here, because when he mentioned it in the keynote yesterday I did presume he was referring to the desktop option being the Snapdragon X Elite developer kit the company recently announced. But that is most definitely a mini PC, which is what gives me hope there is at least a consideration towards actual desktop machines powered by Qualcomm's silicon.

As for whether those will combine with discrete graphics cards... all I know is that from the early BIOS samples we've seen Qualcomm has enabled Resizable BAR as an option within the firmware. 

Resizable BAR on Snapdragon X Elite BIOS

(Image credit: Future)

One of the firmware developers explained that it was a proof of concept as part of its three different BIOS offerings for partners—ranging from simple to fully featured. But that still suggests there's been serious thought given to attaching a proper graphics card, with a good chunk of video memory, to the X Elite SoC.

We may also see lower-end SKUs, too, and definitely even more powerful options down the line. Right now we have the 12-core X Elite and the 10-core X Plus, but Amon is talking about an approach more akin to its mobile silicon journey.

"You should think about Qualcomm in the PC as no different than what we have been doing in the phone space," he says. "It's going to be a multi-tier solution. I can't disclose the evolution of the X Elite, but you should expect significant performance improvements across many vectors."


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Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.