MediaTek is Reportedly Working on Arm-Based Processor for Windows PCs

As Qualcomm’s exclusivity for Arm-powered processors for Windows PCs is reportedly coming to an end, other chipmakers are preparing to enter the market with their Arm-based system-on-chips (SoCs) for Windows computers. According to a new report, MediaTek is among the companies planning to launch their first Arm-based processor for Windows PCs late next year.

MediaTek’s upcoming SoC for Windows PCs will rely on Arm’s ‘ready-made designs,’ indicating that MediaTek plans to use Arm’s compute sub-system (CSS) for client PCs. This building block is designed to significantly speed up the development of SoCs. However, the exact version of Arm’s intellectual property (IP) that MediaTek will use remains unclear and will depend largely on the timing of their release.

MediaTek is Reportedly Working on an Arm-Based Processor for Windows PCs

Arm refreshes its client cores and IP offerings annually, typically announcing new designs in May, with finished chips rolling out later in the year. Therefore, depending on MediaTek’s timeline, they could potentially use either the 2024 client designs or the 2025 designs.

For reference, Arm’s 2024 CSS for client systems is quite powerful. It includes two ultra-high-performance Arm Cortex-X925 cores (each with up to 3MB L2 cache and clock speeds over 3.60 GHz, supporting SVE and SVE2), four high-performance Cortex-A725 cores, two energy-efficient Cortex-A520 cores, and an Immortalis-G925 graphics processor. MediaTek, with its expertise, could also choose to develop its own custom designs rather than using Arm’s CSS.

The latest client designs from Arm can accommodate up to 14 CPU cores, allowing for scalable designs suitable for laptops. However, the PC SoC market is competitive, with other contenders like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X processors, and upcoming designs from Intel and AMD. MediaTek will need to deliver a high-performance, efficient chip to succeed in this market.

Since 2016, Microsoft has partnered with Qualcomm to bring Arm’s processor architecture to Windows PCs. Qualcomm has had an exclusive agreement to supply these chips, but this exclusivity is set to expire in the coming months. This opens the door for other designers like MediaTek to enter the market. Qualcomm has greatly benefited from its collaboration with Microsoft, so it will be interesting to see if Microsoft extends similar opportunities to other Arm chip makers.

See Also: MediaTek Announces Dimensity 7300 & 7300X Chips For Mid-Rangers

The potential for a crowded market is high. Both AMD and NVIDIA are also reportedly developing Arm-based chips for Windows, according to previous reports from Reuters. If these projects materialize, there could be several Arm SoCs available to PC manufacturers simultaneously. This would mark a significant shift from the past 20 years, where Intel and AMD have dominated the PC processor market.

The entry of MediaTek into the Windows-on-Arm market signifies a major shift in the PC industry. The company’s reliance on Arm’s designs will allow it to quickly develop competitive SoCs for Windows PCs. However, success will depend on MediaTek’s ability to deliver high-performance, efficient chips that can compete with offerings from Qualcomm, Intel, and AMD.

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Onsa Mustafa

Onsa is a Software Engineer and a tech blogger who focuses on providing the latest information regarding the innovations happening in the IT world. She likes reading, photography, travelling and exploring nature.

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