Tuesday, November 30

Only Qualcomm can make chips for Windows in ARM: there is exclusivity with Microsoft, they claim in XDA

If you want to buy a Windows computer for ARM, There is only one option: that this computer has a Qualcomm chip. No other semiconductor manufacturer has offered options in this regard, and now we know why.

And it is that according to XDA-Developers, Qualcomm and Microsoft have an exclusive agreement on Windows for ARM. It is not known when that exclusivity expires, but that is the reason that other manufacturers such as MediaTek – which intends to offer its chips – do not compete in this segment.

Exclusivity as a brake on innovation

Qualcomm has always had a good relationship with Microsoft: at the time when the Redmond firm bet on Windows Phone, Qualcomm chips were the only ones supported. When Microsoft announced its intention to create laptops based on ARM chips, its collaboration with Qualcomm was an essential part of that goal.

That collaboration did not bear the expected results: Qualcomm chips have never been especially differential And there were also limitations in Microsoft’s operating system, something that became clear in our review of the Microsoft Surface Pro X.

That could change soon: Qualcomm bought Nuvia earlier this year, and the firm has already said that will have new chips in late 2022 or 2023 with the aim of competing (we will see) with the proposals that Apple is raising with its family of M1 chips.

However, the exclusivity has not seemed to be beneficial to boost Windows in ARM, which has been weighed down by chips that they did not propose a particularly remarkable alternative versus traditional x86-64 chips from Intel and AMD, which have continued to push their approach – one in which efficiency is not as relevant as IPC and performance – with success.

It is not known if this exclusivity between Qualcomm and Microsoft has an expiration date, but the truth is that MediaTek already indicated you were working on chips for Windows in ARM and it is likely that other companies like Samsung – or Huawei, which has a veto with Google, but not with Microsoft— would be interested.

In XDA they actually point out that this exclusivity could also be the reason why Windows 10 and Windows 11 are not supported on Macs with M1 chips, but that seems more unlikely. Now it remains to be seen if indeed other manufacturers begin to offer their proposals, something that could be great news to breathe new life into Windows on ARM.

Via | XDA-Developers


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