AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) recently announced its development of a new "always connected" laptop platform with mobile chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). It will combine AMD's Ryzen CPUs with Qualcomm's Snapdragon LTE modems, and offer OEMs a simple way to produce ultra-thin LTE notebooks that aren't dependent on Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) x86 CPUs or Wi-Fi connections.

The key facts

AMD client computing chief Kevin Lensing pointed out that both chipmakers "have shown a consistent commitment to delivering products that redefine next-generation mobile user experiences." And he noted that the combination of the two chips would help OEMs "achieve new levels of performance, connectivity and capability for ultra-thin notebook PCs."

Qualcomm mobile chief Alex Katouzian stated that combining the two companies' technologies would produce always-connected notebooks for "consumers in a mobile-first future." The partnership was a clear move against Intel, which dominates nearly 80% of the PC market with its CPUs.

Qualcomm had already been advancing into Intel's territory with its own Snapdragon-powered Windows PCs, which were produced with Microsoft's support.

However, some apps don't run well on the ARM-based Snapdragon CPUs unless they are optimized first -- which gives x86 CPUs from Intel and AMD a competitive edge. Since Qualcomm can't produce x86 CPUs of its own, and working with Intel would be counterproductive, partnering with underdog AMD seems like a logical move.

This is likely a win-win strategy for both AMD and Qualcomm. AMD gains a foothold in the fledgling market for "always connected" PCs, while Qualcomm expands the presence of its mobile modems beyond Snapdragon-powered laptops.

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The author(s) may have a position in any stocks mentioned.


Leo Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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