Nvidia and AMD rumored to launch Arm-based PC processors by 2025
The x86 CPU instruction set continues to reign supreme when it comes to application support on consumer PCs or large scale data center systems. The only market that has rejected the x86 architecture and is largely utilizing Arm’s RISC instruction set is the smartphone sector. Microsoft tried to adapt the Arm architecture for Windows with the Windows-on Arm initiative, but, up until now, the performance is still considerably slower compared to x86. However, Apple proved that Arm’s architecture can be successfully adapted for desktop and laptop applications with its proprietary M chips that integrate custom Arm cores. Perhaps the PC side has been lagging behind as Qualcomm is the only company trying to solve the problem for the much larger Windows-based market. With a bit of competition, the situation can change for the better, and that is exactly what Nvidia and AMD are now planning, according to a Reuters report.
Two industry insiders close to Reuters inform that Nvidia is already developing Arm-based CPUs for Windows applications. This does not come as a major surprise, since Team Green already tried to acquire Arm a few years ago and the plans for PC CPUs integrating Arm cores may have been devised at that point. Additionally, Nvidia already has the Grace Hopper processors that combine Arm cores with GPGPU cores, albeit for data center and AI applications.
AMD itself stated two years ago that it is interested in diversifying its CPU portfolio with Arm-based options. The Reuters sources claim that Team Red could ready Arm-based desktop processors by 2025, around the same time as Nvidia. Qualcomm would thus see respectable competitors entering the market, and a pricing race could prove beneficial for end-users.
Of course, Qualcomm is not sitting on its hands, either. Just a few days ago, Windows Report revealed that Qualcomm is planning to release a powerful 12-core Snapdragon X ELITE processor for PCs in mid-2024. Nvidia and AMD cannot launch their Arm processors sooner than 2025, as 2024 also marks the end of Qualcomm’s exclusivity agreement with Arm regarding Windows-based PC CPUs. From that point onward, the PC-based Arm CPU market could see an exponential rise, potentially rivaling AMD's and Intel's x86 processors in just a few more years.