The desktop processor market is suddenly hot again – Computerworld

Amon disclosed that Windows 11 laptops with Qualcomm’s Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite System-on-a-Chip (SoC) will debut in mid-2024. The processor was launched last year and promises long battery life while providing enough CPU horsepower to run AI workloads at competitive speeds with x86 and Apple custom silicon architectures. “Products with this chipset [are] tied with the next version of Microsoft Windows that has a lot of the Windows AI capabilities,” Amon told analysts.

“Qualcomm is looking to expand into other markets besides mobile, because frankly, mobile is not growing at the same rate that it was years ago,” said Jack Gold, president of J. Gold Associates consultancy. “So they’re looking for peripheral markets to increase their market share.”

For its part, Microsoft seems to be hedging its bets, talking up the Snapdragon X Elite chips but also encouraging other chip makers to get into the Windows on Arm game. Both AMD and Nvidia, the market leader in the graphics processing units (GPUs) that power most AI workloads today, are said to be developing Arm-based CPUs for Windows PCs, according to Reuters.

One way or another, 2024 is shaping up to be a big year for Microsoft. It is expected to ship a significant update to Windows 11, possibly renaming it Windows 12, in the second half of the year. The new OS is expected to greatly expand on its AI processing capabilities. What’s more, Microsoft has ported Windows to native Arm platforms. More details are likely to be revealed at a special media event next month at which CEO Satya Nadella will outline the company’s “AI vision across hardware and software.”

Intel, of course, is fiercely defending its territory. At its Vision 2024 conference earlier this week, the company announced that the second generation of its Core Ultra processors meant to power AI workloads on Windows PCs will arrive later this year.

“Intel’s on a mission to bring AI everywhere,” said CEO Pat Gelsinger at the keynote. “Before competitors shipped their first [AI] chips, we’re launching our second.”


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