Microsoft and AMD are reportedly developing an Arm processor for laptops
Microsoft's decision to not launch an Arm-based laptop alongside the new Surface models raised some questions among fans and enthusiasts alike. It is abundantly clear that Windows for Arm is here to stay, so one can't help but wonder what Microsoft is cooking up. Renowned leaker FrontTron has just shared some new information that could give us a glimpse at what a future Surface Pro X successor may have in store for us.
A post from South Korean tech forum Clien suggests that Microsoft is working with AMD to design an Arm processor for an upcoming laptop. It will reportedly use off-the-shelf Arm hardware; in this case, the Cortex-X1 core. There is no word about its exact core configuration, though. Given that the SoC for a laptop, Microsoft and AMD can splurge on the power budget a little, thereby allowing them to use multiple Cortex-X1 cores. However, the mystery chipset may stick to a traditional big.LITTLE design and use a mix of Cortex-X1, Cortex-A710 and Cortex A-510 CPU cores.
Things get even more exciting on the GPU side of the aisle. It seems that the SoC will use a mRDNA2 GPU similar to the one on the Exynos 2200. However, this particular variant will pack 8 CUs and perform on par with a desktop-grade Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050. An Exynos modem is slated to enable 5G connectivity. Although not stated explicitly, Samsung could be involved in the mix. The Korean tech giant has been, after all, closely working with Microsoft for quite some time. It will effectively mark the beginning of the Microsoft-AMD-Samsung triumvirate, something that should concern Apple.
Samsung's participation, however, will be limited to designing the chip, which will be fabbed on TSMC's 5nm node. Initially, it was slated to be manufactured on Samsung's equivalent node, but the project got scrapped due to low yields. FrontTron rounds things off by stating that the SoC will not be exclusive to Microsoft hardware and could show up on other Arm-powered notebooks.