A variety of chips will be made available for Microsoft Windows 8

US chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has confirmed full support for Microsoft Windows 8 PCs and smartphones based on its next generation Snapdragon family of processors. The move is of interest as it marks the arrival of an OS designed to span both the PC and mobile device form factors and Qualcomm’s foray into the same area.

Qualcomm’s head of product management, Cristiano Amon, said that the next generation of Snapdragon chips, dubbed the S4, would feature dual and quad core technology and would be available to the market during the first half of 2012.

During a keynote address at the Microsoft Build conference this week, Microsoft demonstrated an early developer preview of Windows 8-based prototype PCs powered by Snapdragon processors.

In addition, Qualcomm’s Gobi mobile internet connectivity offerings will provide Windows 8-based PCs with wireless 3G and 4G, while the company’s Atheros’ WCN3660 combo chip will deliver dual-band wifi, Bluetooth and FM radio connectivity.

But Qualcomm is facing some ARM-based rivalry in the form of Nvidia’s Tegra SoC offering. Nvidia this week launched its own Windows 8 developer program, with a nod to its next-generation, quad-core Tegra processor, code-named Project Kal-El, targeted at the tablet and notebook sector.

The processor manufacturer also announced plans to support Windows 8 on x86 systems with its GeForce, Quadro and Tesla GPUs.

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