Fresh from whipping up forecasts about quad- and hexa-core mobile processors, IHS iSuppli has published another, rather interesting round of numbers. This time, the research firm is predicting that, in 2015, a whopping 22.9% of shipping notebooks will have ARM-based processors in them.
IHS iSuppli expects the ARM invasion will occur largely thanks to Windows 8, which Microsoft is designing to run on both x86 and ARM systems. ARM-based notebooks should only account for 3% of shipments in 2012, but that minority will steadily grow over the next few years. The research firm expects to see ARM chips chiefly in sub-$700 laptops—folks seeking greater horsepower will presumably want to plunk down the cash for something with x86 silicon under the hood.
Although the 22.9% figure ought to raise some eyebrows, I wouldn't call IHS iSuppli's predictions particularly shocking. Nvidia already plans to serve up ARM in desktops and servers with Project Denver, and notebook derivatives seem likely, as do higher-powered Tegra chips. Windows 8's embrace of the alternative ISA might also beckon other players to the field. As the IHS iSuppli report points out, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have also carved themselves a slice of the ARM processor market.