Nvidia, AMD, and Qualcomm are gearing up to launch Arm-based CPUs for Windows PCs. This development has the potential to shake up the PC market, which has long been dominated by Intel, Reuters news report said.
IDC says PC shipments are forecast to grow 3.7 percent in 2024 to 261.4 million shipments. In 2023, PC shipments are forecast to decline 13.7 percent to 252 million units. PC industry’s challenges include concerns around the consumer market refresh cycle, businesses pushing device purchases forward, and education budgets that are not rebounding in many markets.
Nvidia, the AI chip behemoth, has been quietly working on designing CPUs tailored to run Microsoft’s Windows operating system using Arm technology. AMD and Qualcomm, two other leading chipmakers, are also developing Arm-based PC chips. These chips are expected to be released to the market as early as 2025.
This collective effort by the three chipmakers is aligned with Microsoft’s efforts to facilitate the development of Arm-based processors for Windows PCs. Microsoft is directly targeting Apple, which has made significant inroads into the PC market with its in-house Arm-based chips for Mac computers.
Apple’s custom Arm-based chips have bestowed Mac computers with superior battery life and impressive performance that rivals energy-hungry competitors. Microsoft, observing the efficiency and performance of Apple’s chips, including their AI processing capabilities, aims to achieve similar results in its PC offerings.
The transition to Arm-based designs isn’t without its challenges, however. Software developers have spent decades and invested substantial resources in writing code for Windows tailored to the x86 computing architecture, used by both Intel and AMD. Code optimized for x86 chips won’t seamlessly run on Arm-based designs, which could pose hurdles during this transition.
Intel, for its part, is also integrating AI features into its chips and recently showcased a laptop running features similar to ChatGPT directly on the device.
Despite the challenges, the move towards Arm-based chips for Windows PCs has the potential to disrupt the PC market and create more competitive and innovative offerings for consumers.
Here are some of the potential benefits of Arm-based Windows PCs:
# Better battery life
# Improved performance
# Lower cost
# More power-efficient designs
# Enhanced AI capabilities
The entry of Nvidia, AMD, and Qualcomm into the Arm-based PC chip market is a watershed moment for the industry. It remains to be seen how Intel will respond to this challenge, but it is clear that the PC market is entering a new era of competition and innovation.