Subscribe to Windows 8 Release by Email to receive the latest updates in your email inbox.
Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8 will support ARM chips addition to Intel and AMD processors. Three different ARM devices were demoed at Computex 2011 with Windows 8 running on ARM chips. The three ARM devices were a single-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon, a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 and a quad-core NVIDIA Kal-El notebook. Microsoft said that faster chips from ARM and lighter Windows Operating System in Windows 8 has enabled the technologies to be used on computers. Microsoft’s vice president of planning, hardware and PC ecosystem, said in an interview at Computex 2011 that “The ARM platform has evolved to continue to get more powerful as phones got more graphical, and Windows has consistently been reducing its system requirements over time. As those two come together, we now have a natural fit.”
Many are expecting that Qualcomm, TI (Texas Instruments) and Nvidia might be preferred ARM chip producers for the Windows 8 Operating System. After the official demonstrations by Microsoft of ARM devices from the three ARM chip developers, Qualcomm and TI have already announced ARM chips with Windows 8 support.
Qualcomm has announced that its upcoming Snapdragon processors — the dual-core MSM8960 and quad-core APQ8064 — will fully supports Windows 8. The 8960 is currently in the hands of OEMs, while the 8064 won’t ship until next year. The updated Snapdragons boast clock speeds of up to 2.5GHz and a foursome of wireless connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM radio. Support for NFC and stereoscopic 3D is also baked in, and beefed-up Adreno GPUs will provide additional multimedia horsepower.
Texas Instruments, meanwhile, outed the new OMAP4470, which the company expects to ship sometime in the first half of 2012. The chip sports four total cores — two ARM Cortex A9 running at up to 1.8GHz and two ARM Cortex-M3 clocked at 266MHz to handle multimedia processing. Its SGX544 graphics core is capable of pushing resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 to as many as three displays, and it supports HDMI output and stereoscopic 3D. The SGX544 is fully DX9, OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenCL 1.1, and OpenVG 1.1 compatible.