Nippy Snapdragon S4 in Windows 8 ARM notebooks will be thinner and lighter than ultrabooks, says Qualcomm.

Qualcomm to do battle with Intel ultrabooks

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm has shed some light on upcoming ARM-based Windows 8 notebooks, claiming that they will be thinner and lighter than Intel ultrabooks.

Qualcomm’s latest generation Snapdragon S4 is already powering high-end smartphones such as the US 4G version of HTC’s One X but the firm has plans to use the high-performance quad-core chip in a new category of ARM-powered notebooks later this year.

The use of a cutting-edge phone chip in a notebook is only possible because of the so-called Windows for ARM version of Windows 8. Qualcomm veep Rob Chandhok told PC World: "We think much lighter than what Intel calls an ultrabook."

Chandhok said that the differentiation between the smartphone and notebook categories has already begun to blur. That said, to date there has been a considerable gap in computing performance between Intel’s chips and those in mobile phones, something Qualcomm could be on the verge of reversing.

In recent benchmarks, a ‘mere’ dual-core version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 with the custom designed ‘krait’ CPU cores, handily beat the next-faster chip – Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3.

With quad-core chips on the way, faster GPUs (in the S4-Pro later this year) and even 64-bit support on the cards – Qualcomm is set to do battle with Intel when Windows 8 arrives.

Indeed the battle for the super thin and light notebook market will feature a greater array of competing hardware than has been seen in the PC industry for some years.

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