Qualcomm requires Oryon SoC to work with its PMIC

Qualcomm, in its previous year’s announcement, unveiled the custom Oryon core, leveraging the technological prowess gained from its acquisition of Nuvia, and utilizing Arm’s instruction set, upon which they’ve vested grand expectations. Nevertheless, devices incorporating this novel SoC won’t manifest until 2024, initially gracing laptops, with a broader expansion planned for smartphones and other apparatuses in the offing.

According to a report by SemiAccurate, even though the SoC featuring the custom Oryon core currently exhibits sterling performance, a particular design decision by Qualcomm might considerably impair the allure of this new platform: Qualcomm desires its partners to employ its power management integrated circuits (PMIC) specifically tailored for smartphones in their next-generation platforms.

In its new SoC, Qualcomm has integrated a proprietary power management protocol necessitating alignment with its own PMIC. On one hand, this allows Qualcomm to guard the confidential intricacies of its power management business, and on the other, such a bundling strategy could potentially amplify its revenues. At present, Qualcomm’s PMICs are primarily crafted with smartphones in mind—a realm that significantly burgeons its revenue, rendering this focus seemingly logical. However, Qualcomm’s current decision to employ these inherently smartphone-centric PMICs in laptops raises brows. While these circuits are adeptly suited for smartphones, their efficacy in laptops could be an entirely different narrative, given the distinct power optimization requisites.

It’s understood that transplanting PMICs intended for smartphones into laptops could inflate manufacturing costs substantially. Historically, PC manufacturers would purchase both the SoC and PMIC from Qualcomm, often sidelining the latter. However, with the advent of Qualcomm’s proprietary power management protocol, this strategy is rendered infeasible. This directive from Qualcomm has cast a shadow of disillusionment over numerous original equipment manufacturers, with a prevailing sentiment that it translates to superfluous expenditure, fostering contemplation of potentially renouncing involvement with the custom Oryon core initiative.

Qualcomm’s steadfastness has inadvertently strained relations with its partners. Even if the new SoC meets performance expectations, the surge in costs could tarnish its profitability. Rumor has it that Qualcomm has initiated compensatory measures, with the remuneration potentially eclipsing the cost of the PMIC, which might induce financial setbacks for the company. The eventual denouement remains a matter of keen anticipation.