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Nvidia prepping AI PC chip with Arm and Blackwell cores

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the potential competition heating up in the Windows on Arm space, with Nvidia reportedly preparing a chip that pairs next-gen Arm cores with its Blackwell GPU architecture, challenging Qualcomm's dominance in this market.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Competition in the Windows on Arm space

1. What are the key points about the competition in the Windows on Arm space?

  • Qualcomm has been the chief chipmaker driving Arm-based Windows systems, including for Microsoft's new Surface Laptop and Pro tablets
  • However, an exclusivity agreement between Microsoft and Qualcomm for Windows on Arm platforms is said to expire this year, opening up the market to other silicon providers
  • Nvidia is reportedly preparing a system-on-chip (SoC) that pairs Arm's Cortex-X5 core design with GPUs based on its Blackwell architecture, potentially challenging Qualcomm's dominance

2. What are the potential reasons for Nvidia's interest in the Windows on Arm market?

  • Given Nvidia's investments in AI, it would make sense for the company to want a greater slice of the AI PC market, which is coalescing around CPUs with built-in AI acceleration and support for these capabilities in Windows
  • However, Nvidia's Blackwell GPU architecture may be an odd choice for an SoC aimed at laptops, as it is Nvidia's latest high-performance GPU design

3. What are the key details about the Arm Cortex-X5 core that Nvidia's potential SoC may use?

  • The Cortex-X5 is the next iteration of Arm's high-performance cores designed for smartphones and laptops, following the Cortex-X4 introduced last year
  • It is expected to deliver a "substantial performance gain" over existing Arm cores, with the largest year-over-year IPC (instructions per cycle) performance increase in five years

[02] Timing of Nvidia's potential Windows on Arm chip

1. When might Nvidia's potential Windows on Arm chip be released?

  • The Cortex-X5 core, Blackwell RTX GPU, and LPDDR6 memory that Nvidia's SoC is expected to use have all yet to materialize
  • This suggests that any such Windows on Arm chip from Nvidia would not be seen until next year at the earliest, as these key components are still to be launched.
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