MediaTek wants to make a chip for Windows on ARM PCs
MediaTek kicked off its Executive Summit in Laguna Beach, California today. The company is set to make a series of announcements throughout the week, but one thing that it’s already confirmed is that we’re going to see MediaTek-powered PCs running Windows. The biggest question is when, as the plan is still in early stages.
“Apple has shown the world that it can be done,” said Eric Fisher, Vice President of Corporate Sales and Business development. He added, “The Wintel partnership that’s gone on for so long has to be under some pressure, and when there’s pressure, there’s opportunity for companies like ours.”
Speaking with other executives at the company, it’s clear that the sentiment is that a shift in the PC landscape from x86 to ARM is inevitable. Put simply, MediaTek doesn’t want to miss that boat, and as we all know, competition is good.
Right now, Qualcomm dominates the landscape when it comes to ARM-based Windows PCs. It’s been a bumpy road too. Qualcomm started with the Snapdragon 835, shipping expensive PCs that frankly, weren’t very good. Now, it has the Snapdragon 8cx on the high end and Snapdragon 7c on the entry-level.
When MediaTek hits the scene, something that is a few years out at the least, it seems like it’s more likely to start by competing with the Snapdragon 7c. In fact, this is what it’s already doing in the Chromebook space, offering new value for lower prices.
Indeed, one of the questions that MediaTek still has to answer is what advantage it can offer in the PC chipset space. With Qualcomm being the incumbent with Windows on ARM, it doesn’t just have to show you why you should buy ARM, but why you should buy a MediaTek-powered ARM PC.
Aside from Chromebooks, MediaTek is also building 5G modems for Intel-powered PCs, thanks to a partnership that the two companies inked back in 2019. This means that MediaTek already has relationships with PC OEMs, giving it something of a head start.
Again, the plan for MediaTek-powered PCs is still very early, and there are a lot of questions that have to be answered. There’s no target date for this to happen yet, so don’t go and mark your calendars or anything.