How will the personal computer evolve in 2022?

How will personal computers evolve in 2022? Continuing from my column looking back on last year, I would like to review the trends in the technology industry centered on PCs this year, including what we have already learned, and make some predictions.

The year 2021 was the year that Windows received its first major update in quite some time. While “Windows 11” is a cosmetic reworking of 10, Microsoft is trying to build a friendlier relationship with tech devices, especially smartphones. This year will bring more sophisticated features and usability with a few updates.

In 2021, under a new CEO, Intel unveiled its roadmap to overtake the competition in manufacturing technology and become the leader in semiconductor performance by 2025, and in the fall it began introducing its “12th generation Core processors”.

Thus, the PC industry has just laid the foundation for both Microsoft and Intel to build new added value into PCs. The first thing to watch this year will be the PC makers, not the platformers.

Windows PCs continue to mature on a new foundation

Windows 11 is the result of a review and reorganization of Windows 11 as a whole to meet the latest trends and usage environments, while keeping the basic parts as they are, in a situation where many things have changed since Windows 10 was designed around 2015.

Looking at the overall structure and user interface, we are impressed with how well it has been done, but some users may not feel the drastic changes, such as the fact that the feature that allows Android applications to run on Windows 11 has not yet been realized, which is the main feature of the product.

The same is true of processor trends: just because Intel and AMD have updated their processor generations does not mean that PCs will change drastically by themselves. Of course, they will become more powerful, but that does not mean that what can be done will change dramatically.

However, it has given manufacturers more freedom to develop new PC concepts. That preparation was completed in the second half of last year, in other words, we expect to see PCs with a renewed concept this year.

Intel announced the 12th generation Core (development code name: Alder Lake) for desktop PCs last October and launched it the following month, and plans to expand this to high-performance notebooks and thin and small notebooks in 2022. Last November, the company also announced that it had begun shipping the 12th generation Core for high-performance notebook PCs to manufacturers, and the 12th generation Core will replace notebook PCs for gaming and creators.

The thermal design of the 12th generation Core varies depending on the number of configurations of P-cores, which emphasize processing performance, and E-cores, which emphasize power efficiency. We expect that many PC makers will make major design updates at this time, especially for performance-oriented platforms, as they can take a variety of approaches.