According to network sources, Microsoft is developing its own processors with ARM architecture for servers and, possibly, future computers of the Surface family.
The source says that the ARM processors under development are planned to be used in servers that are involved in ensuring the performance of Microsoft Azure cloud services. In addition, Microsoft is “studying” the possibility of using a different proprietary processor in some devices of the Surface family, but it is not yet certain that this idea will be implemented in practice.
Microsoft currently primarily uses Intel processors in the server and consumer segments. However, the software giant has previously partnered with AMD and Qualcomm to create custom chips for Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X devices, demonstrating a willingness to use processors from different manufacturers. Last year, Microsoft partnered with Qualcomm to develop the SQ1 ARM processor for the Surface Pro X, and this year the SQ2 chip was introduced as a logical continuation of the collaboration. As for AMD, the company has developed a custom version of the Ryzen processor for the Surface Laptop 3. The company also uses chips developed with AMD in its gaming consoles.
However, Microsoft’s move to ARM processors in the server segment could be much more significant, especially for Intel. This year, Apple has already abandoned the use of Intel chips, which has begun producing computers based on its own ARM-based M1 processor. However, in the server market, Intel Xeon processors continue to occupy a dominant position, which may weaken in the future if Microsoft switches to using its own chips in this segment.
“As chips are the fundamental building block of technology, we continue to invest in our own capabilities in areas such as design and manufacture, and forge and strengthen partnerships with a wide range of chip suppliers.“- said Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw, who declined to comment directly on the issue of ARM processor development in-house.
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