In just 3 years, 30% of PCs may be built on ARM architecture

A new report suggests that ARM-based systems may become more common in the future and will increase at an unprecedented rate.

ARM’s system-on-a-chip (SoC) can be found in chips from the Apple M series, but also in Chromebooks. Can adoption of these devices reach as high as the report predicts?

Arif Bacchus/ Custom Hour

In a report published by DigiTimes, market research firm Canalys predicted that by 2026, ARM will wrestle much of the market away from its competitors. It is estimated that up to 30% of PCs will be ARM-based, while half of CPUs used for cloud services will rely on ARM architecture.

“By 2026 – not 2050, but 2026, four years from now – half of cloud processors will be ARM-based and 30% of PCs will be ARM-based. It is an extraordinary event and an industry-changing event that has simply not been taken seriously enough,” said Steve Brazier, CEO of Canalys.

Right now ARM has a much smaller market share, but it’s certainly been on a steady rise since Apple made the leap and left Intel in favor of its own ARM-based silicon. As Mercury Research’s Dean McCarron told Tom’s Hardware, ARM’s current market share is limited to about 13.1% of PC client processors. This applies to data from the third quarter of 2022.

Is such a leap possible at all? It may be, but it’s certainly a huge goal to strive for. As 2022 is almost over, ARM has three more years to increase its market share by 17%. But even if that goal isn’t quite reached, it makes sense that with the popularity of Apple’s Macs and with the low cost of Chromebooks, ARM’s share should continue to rise.

Brazier believes that ARM could be especially successful if other manufacturers, such as HP or Asus, invested in making their own SoCs based on ARM architecture. However, with many options available from Intel and AMD, it seems unlikely that a large number of companies will suddenly decide to go down that path.

Apple MacBook Pro 14 Mark Coppock/Digital trends

There’s also the question of how ARM on Windows will continue to evolve. Expanding into that market could certainly increase adoption beyond the current Apple and Chromebook-dominated roster.

In recent years, energy-efficient, ultra-light and portable notebooks have certainly been in demand. ARM-based SoCs certainly do a good job for Apple, powering some of the best MacBooks in years while keeping the whole system efficient. Therefore, a world where ARM is an even stronger competitor could be a good place to be, with more energy efficient, but still powerful PCs.

Leave a Comment