The Windows on Arm chip race heats up with a challenger to Qualcomm

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Intel, Nvidia, AMD, and Qualcomm are the household names in chips — but in 2025, the popular but lesser known MediaTek might make a play to join them. Reuters reports that the Taiwanese chip company is now preparing an AI PC chipset to launch in late 2025 specifically for Windows PCs. Currently, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite is the alleged MacBook Air-beating talk of the town, and MediaTek wants a piece of that action.

According to Reuters, the new MediaTek chip will reportedly be aimed at the same Microsoft Copilot Plus PC program that Qualcomm helped kick-start with Microsoft. There’s apparently an opening for chipmakers like MediaTek there now that Microsoft’s exclusivity arrangement with Qualcomm for Arm-based versions of Windows is finally ending this year.

Why would Nvidia need MediaTek when it already builds its own Arm chips? (The Nintendo Switch has used Nvidia Tegra chips from the start.) I’m not entirely sure. MediaTek is a fabless chipmaker, meaning it doesn’t manufacture chips itself. As far as MediaTek’s own separate chip goes, Reuters says it uses Arm’s “ready-made designs,” likely meaning it adopts Arm’s already-designed processing cores instead of something MediaTek came up with on its own.

And speaking of those ready-made designs, they may power yet another Windows+Arm competitor for Qualcomm, too. “Executives at Arm have said one of its customers used the ready-made components to build a chip in roughly nine months for a design that is already complete, which MediaTek’s is not,” writes Reuters.

Feels like things are heating up again in the laptop space!

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