Rumors about the Arm architectures taking over the PC world are exploding overnight, this time two powerful players in the industry are planning to join forces, which can rightly worry competitors.
Hardly a day went by this week without reading some news about manufacturers wanting to reshape the PC market, the current development and development path of Arm technology, as well as the available production technologies make this trend more and more attractive. Against Intel’s x86 dominance, Nvidia and AMD are preparing new processor families, and Qualcomm has already put the first development on the table, showing promising numbers on paper.
According to the latest news, MediaTek is also joining the party, and together with Nvidia, they can design special chips that are not only suitable for driving ultra-thin entry-level machines, but can even hold their own in the high-end category. The latter is a completely new color after reading the news, moreover, the Windows on Arm project has so far not been about achieving high computing performance on these new platforms. So far, the Redmond company has not commented on the momentum of the hardware manufacturers, but in the background, the new edition of the operating system, which utilizes Arm architectures more efficiently, is certainly being prepared with great effort.
Perhaps this was the first surprise, since Nvidia can be very satisfied with the sales results of its AI accelerators, and the business that offers graphics controllers is not performing badly either, AMD has a very strong x86 product portfolio, and Qualcomm is an almost unavoidable player in the field of mobile devices . Maybe Intel’s struggle got everyone’s attention? Or would the PC market be attractive for another reason?
From here it is difficult to see into the minds of corporate strategists, but Nvidia is so serious about entering that, according to rumors, an agreement has already been reached with MediaTek to create a common central chip. We don’t know anything about the chip itself, but the manufacturing technology partner will certainly be TSMC, which has the so-called Its CoWoS (Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate) technology is specially designed for the connection and integration of different wafers. Nvidia will supply the dedicated graphics chip, while MediaTek will supply the Arm-based SoC chip; by the way, the latter has a lot of experience with units intended for Chromebooks, and currently offers many CPU types to its partner manufacturers.
Nvidia is not at all unfamiliar with the concept, the Tegra chips were made in a similar spirit, and the pair Grace and Hopper, intended for data centers and supercomputers, already show something of it, as we can count.
Also this week was the publication of Intel’s third quarter 2023 financial report, during which Pat Gelsinger, the company’s CEO, gave a rather mixed interpretation in response to the question of how he evaluates the movement of competitors.
According to him, Intel’s history obviously gives a kind of confidence that these attempts are not new and that different manufacturers have not achieved breakthrough success with them before. At the same time, they take the development and plans of their competitors seriously, and at the same time see an exciting opportunity in the spread of Arm processors, but only from the side of manufacturing partners.
With their production lines that are just starting up and suitable for mass production in the near future, they are ready to produce alternative architectures, thus helping the accessibility of different ecosystems to the widest possible range of users.
A very nice and diplomatic answer, but perhaps it is no coincidence that in his answer he immediately mentioned three code names behind which the individual x86 processor generations will cover the entire year 2024 and start the year 2025 with a strong market position. Even if it’s not a fight, in two years we will be able to choose from a variety of configurations and platforms on the PC market. There is still a long way to go, but if everything goes well, we can only do well as users.