They have passed a few days from the rumors they saw AMD and Microsoft engaged in the development of a new chip dedicated to the Surface Pro X, a SoC ARM equipped with an AMD RDNA2 GPU. There is no confirmation that that collaboration is in place, but the Redmond house recently posted a job posting which suggests the development of a proprietary solution, starting from the composition of the right team for the design of the chip. Microsoft is looking for a “Director of SoC Architecture“just for the division Surface.
We do not know the genesis of this job announcement, if it aims to strengthen an existing team involved in the design of an entirely “homemade” SoC or if you need a figure who allows you to work better with partners like AMD.
What we do know is that this is not the only announcement published by Microsoft regarding the hardware world: the company is also looking for a “Director of IP Architecture” it’s a “Lead SoC Competitive Analysis Engineer – Silicon Architecture“, roles that suggest more than serious intentions in the field of microprocessors. In short, it could be something deeper than the SQ1 and SQ2 chips created in collaboration with Qualcomm over the past few years.
Apple, passed to a completely independent design of its chips with more than surprising results (as demonstrated by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max), has shown Microsoft that competitive proprietary solutions can be created. For Microsoft, it is also a development that could help push Windows on ARM, the version of the operating system for ARM chips that has not yet found success.
It therefore remains to be seen whether the future Surface will mount a more modified ARM chip than SQ1 and SQ2 but the result of a partnership – such as the one rumored with AMD – or if Microsoft’s project will be made entirely in-house. Neither hypothesis can be excluded, on the other hand Microsoft and AMD have been collaborating for some time in the console field and, at the same time, the company has sufficient financial resources to support a totally independent design.