Microsoft prepping Snapdragon 8cx-powered WoA Surface
Leakster @zacbowden has gotten wind of a new Surface currently in development from Microsoft powered by Qualcomm’s specialized Snapdragon 8cx. Given that Microsoft has heavily invested in the Windows on ARM initiative, a Snapdragon powered Surface product has been a somewhat odd omission from its line up. There aren’t too many details about the product at this stage, although it is likely to be a Surface Pro 7 variant that goes by the internal codename Excalibur.
A central feature of WoA devices is that they are touted as ‘always-connected’ devices that use Qualcomm’s smartphone/cellular based SoC platforms. The lack of a cellular connected Surface Pro 6 has been a notable omission from the current Surface line as well, making an always-connected Surface Pro 7 powered by the Snapdragon 8cx an ideal plug for the current gaps in Microsoft’s Surface range. Another touted benefit of this combination is excellent battery life, which is essential for a mobile device like a Surface Pro.
The Snapdragon 8cx is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 but has been optimized for use in WoA devices. It is fabricated on TSMC’s 7nm node and can support up to 16 GB of LPDDR4X 2133 MHz RAM. It features 1 Kryo 485 Gold Prime core (Cortex-A76 based) clocked at 2.84 GHz, 3 Kryo 485 Gold cores (Cortex-A76 based) clocked at 2.42GHz and four power-efficient Kryo 485 Silver cores (Cortex-A55-based) clocked at 1.8 GHz. Benchmarks show it outperforming Intel’s 8th gen 14nm quad-core Core i5-8250U designs.