We’ve been hearing various theories about the next Microsoft Surface device, even with some foldable form factor thrown in the mix. Now we learn that Intel has reasons to be afraid, as Microsoft is looking into a Surface device based on AMD and ARM hardware.
Actually, Microsoft is no stranger to the concept, since they already had the Surface RT and Surface 2 with ARM CPUs inside. Ever since 2013 every Surface device had an Intel processor inside, though. According to Petri’s Brad Sams, Microsoft is looking into a Surface Laptop with AMD CPU and Surface Pro with a Snapdragon CPU. It’s not very clear if these prototypes will actually be turned into real devices, but the source claims that Microsoft isn’t giving up on Intel totally.
AMD has been growing a lot lately, trying to enter the laptop and desktop PC space with more products, Ryzen included. An appearance on a Surface would be a huge boost, but the long years of Intel partnership can’t be ignored. There are already projects involving AMD chips and AMD already has a lot of money to win from working with Sony on the PS5 for example, so it has their vote of confidence.
Back to the rumored Surface Pro tablet with ARM CPU, that one doesn’t actually surprise us. Qualcomm’s CPUs have appeared on a few laptops and tablets lately, delivering a lot of hours of battery life, but a rather modest performance compared to Intel Core chips. The mistakes of the first gen CPUs won’t be repeated and the Snapdragon 8cx may be able to fight the Intel Core i5 soon.
Microsoft is also said to be working with Qualcomm on a custom system on a chip called “Excalibur”, optimized for Windows 10. These are all future projects, maybe 2020 or 2021 material, so things may change fast. The Surface Phone may also end up with a non Intel CPU.