Although Qualcomm is the only ARM licensee to strike a deal with Microsoft to allow legacy Windows 10 apps to run on its processors, ARM executives say there are no legal limitations preventing others from doing so as well.
The PC, however, is less of an opportunity than it once was. Having been bought by Japanese giant SoftBank last year, ARM executives say they have a “Total Computing” plan in place to expand the company’s reach. A key target? The increasingly autonomous car, where ARM silicon can power the myriad sensor and control systems that are being built in.
After Microsoft tried and failed to put Windows on ARM with Windows RT, the latest partnership with Qualcomm is intriguing, as it puts legacy Windows applications on the ARM chips via emulation. Although it remains unclear which vendors will take advantage of the new ARM capabilities, it’s relatively clear that ARM hopes that its chips will slot into the $199 PC segment being vacated by Intel’s largely discontinued Atom chips.
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