AMD May Power New Microsoft Surface Devices
Samuel Wan / 2 weeks ago
AMD APUs Under Consideration For Microsoft Laptop
Over the past 2 years, AMD has made a strong showing on the CPU front. With a competitive 14/12nm process and new Zen architecture, the company is in a stronger position than ever. Along with consumer success, the company is also doing better with OEMs. One major OEM that is rumoured to pick up AMD in the near future is Microsoft. According to a new report, Redmond is considering the use of AMD chips in a future Surface product.
Based on the information, it looks like Microsoft is looking into the new Picasso series of APUs. These are set to arrive along with an updated Raven Ridge in 2019. Possibly based on the new 7 nm node, the new chips will offer improved performance and efficiency. Microsoft should have no concern with performance nor power draw as Apple may also go Red as well. Scoring design wins with both would be a major bonus for AMD.
Microsoft Frustrated With Intel 10nm Delays
Another further detail is that the new product will likely be in the laptop class. This may be due to the fact that AMD doesn’t really have a Zeb based 5-6W part yet unless Picasso will be it. This puts the Surface Go and Surface Pro somewhat out of reach. As it stands, the current Sunnyvale lineup is more at home in the Surface Book and Surface Laptop. Microsoft will also want to be careful with battery life and heat as AMD still have some lingering stigma on these issues.
The main driving force, however, may not be that Microsoft wants to AMD. In fact, the report suggests the Intel delays are frustrating Microsoft. In particular, the 10nm delays are throwing a wrench into the WinTel partnership. Intel really had to push to get Pentium Gold into the new Surface Go. With AMD now a viable option, and still x86, they would be a compelling alternative to Chipzilla.