Microsoft’s Surface Line Could Start Using AMD & ARM Chips as Insiders Reveal Shaky Relationship With Intel
Microsoft’s Surface lineup has always been powered by Intel chips, primarily because ARM and AMD might not have been able to provide the software giant with power efficient processors earlier for such portable machines. The landscape has changed drastically now, and with Qualcomm supporting the ‘Windows 10 for ARM’ platform with its capable Snapdragon 8cx silicon, it looks like Microsoft might be relying less on Intel in the future, and more on AMD and ARM now.
Microsoft Reportedly Testing AMD Picasso SoC for Its Surface Laptop; Company Might Also Have a Custom ARM Chip Designed for Other Products
According to Petri, insiders have reported that Microsoft and Intel don’t have the best of relationships right now. One reason could be that when the Surface line was updated with Intel’s Skylake chips, Microsoft reportedly experienced faulty hardware that would have disgruntled customers and strained the brand name of the technology in the process. In order to reduce its dependency on the chip maker, Microsoft would be looking at other options, which have appeared in the form of AMD and ARM.
We also previously reported that Microsoft is testing out a Surface product using an ARM processor, with new development into the matter stating that the silicon is being fabricated on campus, and will be a custom SoC codenamed Excalibur that’s reportedly being made in partnership with Qualcomm. Both firms are attempting to design the SoC to work well with Windows 10, delivering a blend of both performance and battery life when needed.
With AMD, a 12nm Picasso SoC could be used in the Surface laptop. The Surface Pro, on the other hand, could be using that ARM silicon we talked about earlier. As for a potential announcement, Microsoft is expected to host an event this fall, focusing on its Surface range. The company is expected to announce updates to a wide range of hardware, and we believe that the changes will be seen in the internals rather than the design and physical appearance.
With AMD catching up to Intel as well as providing chip solutions for a lower price, perhaps Microsoft could start pricing its Surface family a bit cheaper this time to make it a compelling option for a bigger market. As always, you should treat this information with a pinch of salt and wait for more news surrounding Microsoft’s Surface and soon, we’ll have additional updates in the future.