PCs are about to be flooded with new chip competition

The Surface Laptop shown in front of a Copilot+ sign.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

For so long, the PC industry has been dominated by three companies: Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. But all that is changing. Qualcomm kicked the door down this year, and MediaTek is now reportedly gearing up to step into the competitive landscape of Arm-based chips for Windows AI PCs.

The info comes from a Reuters report, claiming that “three people familiar with the matter” shared the details. MediaTek has been traditionally known for its strong presence in the smartphone and smart device markets, so the initiative would mark a significant move for the chip maker. This strategic development also seems to be a response to the growing demand for AI capabilities in laptops, which usually require a powerful GPU and a dedicated Neural Processing Unit or NPU.

Notably, MediaTek’s entry into this market puts the company in direct competition with Qualcomm, which reportedly has an exclusivity deal with Microsoft in place until the end of 2024. The new Snapdragon X Elite processor has shown a positive response and the first wave of products is expected to arrive later this month.

The development of Arm chips is part of a broader trend in the tech industry toward integrating AI more deeply into everyday computing devices. Microsoft’s Copilot, which leverages AI to enhance user productivity and experience, is a prime example of this trend.

Poster of a MediaTek chip and logo.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The information lines up with earlier reporting that said MediaTek was working on a system on a chip (SoC) with Nvidia that’s made for gaming handhelds and “power PCs.” Nvidia’s involvement with future Arm PCs was then hinted at again in May by CEO Jensen Huang himself.

Mediatek’s move also highlights the increasing importance of Arm architecture in the future of computing. Arm-based processors are known for their efficiency and performance, particularly in mobile and low-power environments. By bringing these advantages to Windows AI PCs, Mediatek is poised to offer an alternative to traditional x86 processors from Intel and AMD that have dominated the PC market for decades.

The new Arm-based chips from Mediatek are expected to be available by 2025, giving the company ample time to refine design and performance. This timeline also allows the company to align its development efforts with the anticipated advancements in AI technologies and the increasing integration of AI into consumer and enterprise applications.

MediaTek’s new chips will need to demonstrate significant advancements in AI processing, power efficiency, and overall performance to carve out a space in this competitive segment. By targeting the growing market for AI-enabled laptops, MediaTek has the potential to position itself as a key player in the next generation of computing technologies.

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