Microsoft anima aún más el ecosistema de ARM con Project Volterra

Microsoft bets heavily on ARM

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Although this may change with Project Volterra, normally when talking about Microsoft, for many people the first thing that comes to mind is the Wintel binomial, that is, the one made up of the common platform made up of Windows and Intel. However, the truth is that Microsoft has also made quite a few forays into ARM, and Project Volterra is just the latest of them. Before this we have already seen some Surface devices that use ARM, not to mention the specific version of Windows for this platform-architecture.

The devastating success of ARM in the mobile ecosystem It has not been transferred, at least for now, to the PC world, in which their presence is purely testimonial. Except, of course, in the case of Apple, which with its M1 SoC has shown that ARM can stand up to the X86/64 architecture in many environments. And surely we must look precisely at the step taken by those from Cupertino two years ago with Apple Silicon to understand the reason for the growing interest of the PC world in ARM and, consequently, in Project Volterra.

Project Volterra has been presented today by Microsoft and consists of a mini PC for developers based on ARM and equipped with a neural processing unit, a key element for years in the mobile ecosystem, but has not yet made the leap to the PC. Along with it will come, of course, the necessary development tools so that developers can start working on projects specifically aimed at ARM or to be more exact, we can understand that for the version of Windows for ARM.

Microsoft further animates the ARM ecosystem with Project Volterra

The mini PC around which Project Volterra is built will be equipped with a Qualcomm SoC, a choice that does not seem casual, due to the fact that it is the technology that has advanced the most, with the exception of Apple, to bring ARM to the desktop. Additionally, its great advances in the application of artificial intelligence in the SoC for smartphones is of great value for Microsoft’s plans, which include bringing neural processing units to the PC as well, and this interest is not just speculation.

«Since we expect the NPUs (Neural Processing Unit) incorporated into most, if not all, computing devices of the future, we’re going to make it easier for developers to take advantage of these new capabilities by building NPU support into the Windows platform from start to finish.«. These are the words of Panos Panay, head of Windows at Microsoft, so we can expect Project Volterra to be just the first of other very interesting moves in this regard in the future.

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