by Anton Shilov
09/27/2010 | 10:15 AM
The market of personal computers will face fundamental changes in the future, according to Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp. ARM will become the most important microprocessor architecture of the future and smartphones based on ARM will bury x86-based systems.
"The PC of the future will be made by new OEMs, sold through new distributors and use a new instruction-set architecture. ARM will be the most important CPU architecture of the future, and it already is the fastest growing processor architecture," said Mr. Huang in an interview with EETimes web-site.
Nvidia itself sells system-on-chip products called Tegra that integrate ARM processing cores and the company's graphics controllers. Although Nvidia Tegra has not seen a lot of success, the business is growing and as the importance of powerful smartphones will grow, so will the popularity of Tegra. However, the chances that ARM will eventually leave x86 behind are pretty thin. ARM cannot compete against x86 when it comes to performance, especially in servers. Moreover, although x86 chips are made by three companies, the forces behind x86 include loads of PC makers and software designers.
Nvidia's core business are graphics cards for personal computers that are based on x86 central processing units. As a result, it is in fact in Nvidia's interests that x86 microprocessors evolve in a timely manner and boosted demand for graphics chips.