Perhaps AMD can make an ARMv9 microarchitecture-based CPU/GPU/NPU (Zen/RDNA with ML) in one? They only seem to have x86 portfolio, with the exception of samsung utilizing RDNA2 with its exynos brand.
The NVIDIA Grace is for servers, while the apple M1 ultra is for consumers. I guess the following questions seem to emerge from me:
1) Will Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, Google and NVIDIA copy Apple with their own ARMv9 based CPU/GPU/NPU hybrid with shit ton of RAM+RAM bandwidth, CPU, GPU, and ML cores for consumers? (trend alert!)
2) Even if they did, what would be the benefit? ARM is mostly for portability, battery life, 4G/5G. Besides making Windows 10/11 on ARM run as smooth as Windows 10/11 X86 version, what type of software support will it get (apps, games)? Some Windows 10/11 x86 apps dont work on Windows 10/11 ARM. I can't think of any games built from the ground up running on hi-fidelity for windows 10/11 ARM.
3) I do think ARM based chips are gaining momentum: Google, NVIDIA, Apple, Qualcomm are giants that are fully utilizing it. Question is: Will Intel and AMD?
Intel only handed out X86 licenses because IBM demanded it, 40 years ago. But if Intel had it's way, they would be the sole producer of X86 chips.
ARM on the other hand doesn't produce chips. They just design them and license it. And they have basically, 3 license types.
One to manufacture their designs as is. Many low cost mobile makers, use this type of license, then have the chips made at TSMC, Samsung, SMIC, or other Fab.
Another to allow a company to change the designs and then produce it. This is what nVidia and QUALCOMM are doing.
Finally, there is the license to completely design a chip based on the ARM spec. This is what Apple and AWS are doing. Qualcomm dis this some years ago, but they decided it was cheaper and faster, to just improve a bit on ARMs designs.
AMD and Intel have an ARM license, but make little use of it. In fact, at one point , AMD was designing an ARM server chip for AWS, but that went really bad.
Qualcomm is already doing SoCs similar to Apple. Same with Samsung. And other companies.
The difference is that these companies only have mobile phones and tablets as a market.
Apple also has it's desktop and laptop markets. That is why the M1 Ultra exists.
If Apple didn´t have desktop and laptop share of the market, they wouldn´t bother making such a big chip.
Neither ARM nor X86 are bound to just one type of market. ARM and X86 can both do low and high power devices.
But X86 started as a PC chip. For decades, it was mostly for desktops, laptops and servers. Because of this most of it's designs were made with performance first. Because of this, it's desi
ARM 's history is different, and it was used for more specialized devices for a while. In the last decade, it became de default option for mobile devices. Smartphones and Tablets.
Because of this, power consumption and size were given priority.
But these two markets are converging. ARM has bigger and powerful chips. Such as is the example with the M1 Ultra.
But X86 is also getting more concerned with power usage. That's why Alder Lake has small cores and big cores.
The idea that ISA defines power usage, size, performance is not correct. X86 is not less efficient than ARM. Not in a significant way.
The size of the extra microcode and decoding stage on X86, is almost inconsequential.
More important is the process node. And Apple being a big investor in TSMC, gets first dibs with the newest and best process nodes.
The advantage of X86 is that there are a lot of companies that depend on compatibility of X86. So they will never change.
On the PC market, is also dominated by X86. Especially gaming. And with consoles also using X86, that is not going to change soon.
ARM has the mobile market cornered.
Apple is doing it's own thing, so they can choose whatever they want. They have already changed ISA several times.
Who knows, maybe they will change again, in a decade or two.