Although Qualcomm and, to some extent, Rockchip, have long been on some laptops running Windows and Chrome OS, respectively, the arrival of the Apple Silicon M1 showed how the market for ARM-based desktops and laptops is still wide open to competition. There are, however, only a few big names that could probably be a good fit for that kind of device and it seems that Samsung’s biggest Exynos gamble will be heading to laptops first instead of smartphones.
Given that Samsung’s Exynos processors have so far been used mostly in smartphones, it was natural to presume that its partnership with AMD back in 2019 would be applied to mobile devices initially. That is reinforced by the strong mobile gaming trends and Qualcomm’s dominance in smartphone graphics. That was also a year before the Apple M1 showed up to flaunt its desktop prowess but it seems that Samsung might have already been thinking ahead.
According to ZDNet Korea’s industry sources, the Exynos 2200, which is believed to be the name of the next Samsung processor, will actually power a Windows 10 laptop in the second half of the year. This is the same processor that’s believed to be the first of its kind to utilize AMD’s Radeon graphics technology, something that’s definitely needed to run something as heavy as Windows 10, even its ARM version.
If true, this would directly challenge Qualcomm’s so far exclusive role in the Windows 10 on ARM market. It will definitely be interesting to see the combination of Exynos and AMD technologies will prove to be more powerful than what Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Compute series has to offer. The performance of Snapdragon-based Windows 10 laptops and tablets have so far been modest at best, including the Surface Pro X with the custom Snapdragon SQ2 chip.
If all goes well, this Exynos 2220 Windows laptop could also benefit Microsoft indirectly, giving Windows on ARM a much-needed boost. With M1 Macs’ benchmarks and performance reviews flying high, Windows on ARM definitely needs all the help it can get.