A rumor earlier this week claimed that Microsoft is working on a Surface notebook based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx platform that was designed for 2019 Windows 10 devices, and we now have more details on the matter.
It appears that Microsoft wants to power a Surface Pro with the 8cx, which will be a custom version of Qualcomm’s chip. Moreover, Microsoft is also looking at AMD processors for the Surface Laptop line, as it wants to explore options other than Intel.
Microsoft’s relationship with Intel is on “shaky ground,” according to Petri, although it’s unclear why. But Microsoft is testing ARM and AMD processors for its next-gen Surface models.
The next Surface Laptop might come in an AMD version powered by a Picasso 12nm SoC. The Surface Pro 7, meanwhile, might launch with a custom Snapdragon 8cx inside — one that’s been developed on-campus in Redmond. Microsoft has been working closely with Qualcomm on this custom ARM chip, based on its own specs, so that it works better with Windows 10. The chip is codenamed Excalibur, a moniker that has been rumored before. The ARM Surface Pro laptop might be used as a reference device for other OEMs looking to develop their own 8cx Windows 10 notebooks.
In spite of Microsoft’s interest in AMD and ARM silicon, Intel-based Surface laptops will still be in stores this year, including brand new Surface Pro 7 and Surface Book models. The report notes that the Pro 7 will look a lot like last year’s Pro 6, but it’ll come with a USB-C connector and without Thunderbolt 3 functionality.
A Surface Pro redesign has been postponed to 2020, while the rumored dual-screen Centaurus device isn’t expected to launch this year — unless Microsoft can justify the need for such hardware.