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Microsoft wanted Nvidia for Windows 10

by on30 November 2017


To make Windows on ARM

Qualcomm might not be the only sheriff in town when it comes to an upcoming Windows 10 on Snapdragon, or Windows 10 on ARM. Nvidia was asked too.

Nvidia was approached by Microsoft in order to contemplate the same idea, which leaves the possibility of Nvidia coming to this market in the future. Currently Qualcomm is the only ARM partner which is officially doing the ground work for Windows 10 on ARM, and there is a future roadmap of devices.

At some point, you can expect some other companies to join the Windows 10 on ARM game and Nvidia too, as Samsung is definitely on a list of potential candidates. Nvidia’s biggest concern was the lack of client interest which might change after the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 - or a future SoC - goes to market in early 2018. This is currently a learning curve for everyone.

Qualcomm was an obvious choice for Microsoft as it wanted to go after Intel in the PC market and of course, every new adventure takes time. At the same time, Snapdragon 800 series is the best selling ARM high end solution to the market, shipping in millions of devices.

We expect to see some major announcement from Qualcomm before the end of the year with volume shipments of partner devices in early 2018. The company said it will do it within a year since first mentioning it in December of 2016.

Nvidia, on the other hand, realized that it can make more money making solutions for the automotive industry. The path to self-driving is what Nvidia chose, with the help of a good position in the infotainment market. It took a lot of effort but it opened up a whole new, and much more profitable market than, for example, the tablets and the phone markets. Nvidia simply didn’t want to forego any risky Windows 10 on Tegra ventures and let’s not forget that its Denver based solution was not really power efficient either.  

The last Tegra significant to the mobile market is the Erista based Tegra X1 that launched in January 2015. You can't be that competitive with four Cortex A57 and four Cortex A53 cores when the competition has had Cortex A73 big cores shipping for a while. This, however,  didn’t stop Nvidia winning a deal with Nintendo which is happy with Tegra X1 in its Nintendo switch.

If Nvidia sees an opportunity in Windows 10 on ARM, it has the technology, but it is unlikely that we will see anything in the upcoming quarters. Or, maybe,  ever.  

Last modified on 30 November 2017
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