NVIDIA and MediaTek announce reference model that could bring RTX graphics to Chromebooks
At its GTC 2021 event, NVIDIA made some interesting announcements. NVIDIA had announced that it was buying semiconductor and software design company ARM, subject to regulatory approvals. Now we have a fair idea of what the company plans to do as it has announced a partnership with mobile chipset maker MediaTek.
The two companies are working on a reference laptop platform that will support Chromium, Linux, and NVIDIA SDKs. While there is no confirmation from either of the companies, it does open up the possibility of future Chromebook laptops powered by MediaTek and NVIDIA’s ray tracing RTX graphics.
Chromebooks have always been regarded as lightweight machines with low-powered hardware. There are a few mid-range Chromebooks that are as good as some Windows machines, but all of those are powered by Intel, leaving ARM-based models in the dark. “MediaTek is the world’s largest supplier of ARM chips, used to power everything from smartphones, Chromebooks, and smart TVs. We look forward to using our technology and working with NVIDIA to bring the power of GPUs to the ARM PC platform for gaming, content creation, and much more. GPU acceleration will be a huge boost for the entire ARM ecosystem,” MediaTek CEO Rick Tsai said in a statement.
Last year, Apple showcased the ARM platform’s capability by pulling out its very own ARM-based chipset for the Mac lineup called the Apple Silicon M1. NVIDIA might have similar plans of making powerful chipsets that could make Chromebooks great again and possibly much better than Windows laptops running on ARM. NVIDIA also announced a new processor for data centers at the event called ‘Grace.’ It will have the capability of handling big workloads like AI supercomputing and natural language processing. It is powered by ARM Neoverse cores and tight integration with the company’s latest GPU technology. Apart from Intel, AMD is also a solid competitor for NVIDIA in this space. There are rumors of AMD planning to launch a new ARM chip with integrated Radeon graphics, which means a whole new battleground for the two companies.