Thursday, May 6, 2021

Microsoft would develop its own ARM chips for Surface PCs

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“With silicon being a fundamental part of the technology, we continue to invest in our own capabilities in areas such as design, manufacturing and tools, while encouraging and strengthening partnerships with a wide range of chip suppliers. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw said in a statement to Engadget and other publications.

While Microsoft has tried ARM chips in the past, when it comes to its Surface computers, it would be a big change for the company. the Surface Pro XThe custom SQ1 processor is based on a existing Qualcomm design, and Microsoft worked with the chipmaker to scale up the chipset as needed. It’s clear that Microsoft has at least been considering making more ARM computers for some time. Back in 2018, a report said the company had considered using an ARM chip in the Original Surface Go but chose not to do so after Intel allegedly petitioned it against the idea.

While Surface devices make up a relatively small share of the PC market, Microsoft’s decision to develop its own chips for its computers would still be a big blow to Intel, especially after Apple left ship with its M1 silicon earlier this year. In Apple’s case, the move to its own architecture has allowed it to ship computers like the new MacBook Air M1, which offers better battery life and better performance than its predecessor Intel, all without a fan.

Update (4:45 p.m. ET): Added comment from Microsoft and more details when Bloomberg updated their report.

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