MICROSOFT IS REPORTEDLY distancing itself from chipmaker Intel and could tap AMD and Qualcomm for future Surface silicon.
That's according to Microsoft watcher Brad Sams on Petri, who has been told that the company is working on a custom ARM-based SoC for an upcoming Surface Pro.
Apparently dubbed Excalibur, Microsoft has got into deeper cahoots with Qualcomm to tickle Windows 10 into playing more nicely with ARM-based chips and instruction sets.
We've already seen Windows 10 running on Snapdragon SoCs courtesy of the Always-Connected PC initiative. But to move towards ARM-based processors for its next Surface Pro would be a big move for Microsoft, especially as all the previous Surface devices to date have used Intel chips.
Sams spouted that Microsoft is also working on equipping variants of the Surface Laptop with a 12-nanometre AMD Picasso SoC.
But that's not to say Microsoft will completely ditch Intel to go and play with its rivals. Rather, Redmond is simply looking to diversify the range of chips its hardware makes use of.
"The brand power behind the Intel name will still help to move hardware and the company will have new flavours of the Book, Pro, and other devices that still using chips from that manufacturer. Such as the Pro 7, which will retain a similar design to the Pro 6 but will finally include a USB-C port, I don't expect it to include Thunderbolt 3," said Sams.
We're likely to see some new additions to the Surface range around October time, which will then give us an idea of whether Sams' predictions come to fruition, or if he's been fed a line by some Microsoft insider; we suspect he's on the right tracks. µ
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