Qualcomm’s next chip for flagship phones will start to arrive before the end of the year. But in the grand scheme of things, the recently-announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 represents a relatively modest update when compared with Qualcomm’s next-gen processors which may start to arrive in 2023 and 2024.

And now the chip maker has given the CPU cores that will power those next-gen chips a name: Oyron.

In a nutshell, Oryon CPU cores will replace the Kryo cores used in Qualcomm’s current chips. But this isn’t just a name change.

For the last few years Kryo cores have been largely based on designs licensed from ARM, like Cortex-X3, Cortex-A715, and so on. But Oryon CPU cores will be made using custom designs thanks to the expertise and technology Qualcomm scooped up when it acquired chip designer Nuvia last year.

The goal is to build chips that better compete with high-performance processors from Apple, AMD, and Intel. So while Oyron CPU cores will eventually find their way to smartphones, automotive systems, virtual reality, and other places, it’s noteworthy that Qualcomm suggests the first place your see Oryon is in PC chips.

There are already a number of Windows on ARM computers on the market that are powered by Qualcomm chips like the Snapdragon 8cx series. But for the most part they tend to struggle to compete with Intel or AMD-powered computers. Apps that are designed to run natively on ARM chips tend to perform well, but fire up an app designed for x86 architecture, and the computers tend to struggle due to the overhead that comes with emulating x86 architecture on an ARM chip.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way though. Apple has been delivering desktop and laptop chips for the past few years that outperform x86 processors in performance-per-watt even when emulation is involved in order to run older apps that haven’t been updated to run natively on Apple Silicon.

And Nuvia – that company that Qualcomm acquired to work on its Oryon CPUs? It was founded by former Apple employees who may know a thing or to about optimizing ARM processors.

For now Qualcomm isn’t saying much about what to expect in terms of performance from Oyron. But given the hype that’s been building up, there’s certainly some pressure to deliver chips that will help make Qualcomm processors more competitive in the PC space.

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  1. It looks like Qualcomm is quite boldly assuming that it will win its litigation with ARM over those Nuvia designs.

    1. I believe Qualcomm is in the wrong, but what they’ll probably do is settle and pay the fee and be done with it.

      Those Nuvia cores were meant for Laptops/Desktops and that’s where we will see them. They might replace the single Cortex-X inside smartphones.

      So it might be a case of marketing, example; the new 2025 Snapdragon 8 gen 4, with 1x Oryon 200 core, 3x Kryo 700-Gold cores, 6x Kryo 700-Silver cores.

  2. Actually I think it should be obvious that Apple ARM chips are so good with x86 tasks because Apple specifically optimized their M family ARM architecture for that, as they optimize other CPU blocks for specific tasks, while other ARM designers are not really interested in that, hence the performance gap for Windows on ARM.

  3. I think the way ARM grows dominance in a “pc space” is by embracing linux. Microsoft doesn’t appear ready to run on ARM, and locking their ARM devices down to their OS isn’t winning them any favor with me.

    1. Which is why I keep bringing up the need to make the computers systemready. It makes it easier to adapt an OS, ANY OS, to it. This lack of ease of adaptation drives prices up which could very well mean more users lost to Apple than users lost to installing Linux. And the stereotypical Linux user isn’t going to be dissuaded by OS lock in on a handful of laptops if there’s any decent hardware available for them elsewhere. Unless you’re going to pay up for a campaign to make people bully them, which won’t work if you don’t pay up for a campaign to censor them too.
      But you can do both with imposing remote attestation.

  4. Well, they’re still probably putting Pluton it in and I doubt they have any interest in making it systemready, so even if it competed with Apple Silicon I couldn’t possibly get excited about it. Just increasingly worried about being insulted for refusing to use it.

    1. Well, to be honest ARM kind of missed the boat with SystemReady. They could have (and should have) made it a mandatory part of ARMv9 licensing. Raise prices, make rules clear, etc etc.

      And they should have pulled 32bit compatibility as well. Make a clean cut. It’s fine, because they still had a viable alternative with their old-gen for those who wanted to stay behind. The Cortex-X1, A78, A55, and A35 are still viable cores for processors.

      It’s more important from the server side, as it makes jumping from Windows to Linux to Something Else much easier to stomach. Especially since ARM has poised itself to become the backbone of the internet/cloud.