Nvidia is reportedly planning on making Arm-based chips for Windows PCs. According to Reuters, the company has “quietly begun” taking on Intel by designing processors compatible with Microsoft’s operating system. The report says Nvidia could begin selling the chips as early as 2025.
The move is part of Microsoft’s broader goal of challenging Apple with Arm-based processors for Windows PCs. According to preliminary Q3 data from research firm IDC, the iPhone maker has nearly doubled its market share since launching the Arm-based Apple Silicon three years ago. The company’s in-house Mac chips balance performance (including on-chip AI tasks) and battery life to a degree that Intel’s processors have yet to match.
When reached via email by Engadget, Nvidia spokesperson Hector Marinez said the company declined to comment.
Nvidia has recent experience with Arm-based chips, but they’re designed for data centers. Nvidia announced plans to buy Arm Holdings in 2020 for $40 billion. However, the company pulled the plug on the deal in early 2022.
AMD is also reportedly preparing to launch Arm-based PC chips as early as 2025. The two companies will join Qualcomm, which has made Windows laptop processors since 2016. Reuters reports that Qualcomm’s exclusivity agreement with Microsoft for Arm-based Windows chip designs will expire in 2024, opening the door to new challengers soon after. Windows on Arm hasn’t exactly been a rousing success to date.
“Microsoft learned from the 90s that they don’t want to be dependent on Intel again, they don’t want to be dependent on a single vendor,” Jay Goldberg, chief executive of consulting firm D2D Advisory, told Reuters. “If Arm really took off in PC (chips), they were never going to let Qualcomm be the sole supplier.”
As Microsoft (along with much of the tech industry) bets its future on generative AI, the upcoming chips will unsurprisingly focus heavily on it. The company has reportedly urged chipmakers to bake advanced AI-powered capabilities into their silicon. Microsoft recently launched Windows Copilot, which provides an OpenAI-powered chatbot in a persistent sidebar to respond to contextual queries anywhere in Windows.