American technology giant- Microsoft Corp. has reportedly announced plans to design ARM-based processors for serves and potential Surface devices. Reportedly, these processors are likely to be used in the Azure cloud servers by Microsoft and will be based on ARM designs.
The tech giant is also exploring the use of other chip technologies for a few of its Surface devices, however, it is unclear if this will be deployed in the final product. Currently, Microsoft uses Intel-based processors for most of its Azure cloud offerings, while most of the firm’s Surface lineup also runs on Intel chips.
It is worth mentioning that, in the past, the company had joined forces with Qualcomm and AMD to design custom chips for its Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X line devices, depicting a willingness to move away from Intel.
Similar to that adopted by Apple Inc., where the company has moved away from using chips manufactured by Intel, to designing its own processor designs that are used in the company’s most popular iPhones and iPads, along with the new Apple Silicon for Macs.
Speaking along similar lines, Apple signaled its move away from Intel chips for its Mac products, by developing M1 silicon which is based on ARM designs. However, Intel’s server chips technology led the server market, and AMD has been dominating the industry with its own EPYC processors.
In a statement by Mr. Frank Shaw, spokesperson of Microsoft, since silicon is an integral foundational building block for technology, the company is heavily investing in advancing its capabilities such as design, manufacturing, and tools, along with strengthening its partnership with various leading chip suppliers.
According to recent news, Amazon, Microsoft’s main cloud rival, poses a considerable threat to AMD and Intel, with its ARM-based Graviton2 processors that were launched a year ago on Amazon Web Services.
Supporting the effort is the Washington-based company’s increase in recruiting processor engines over the last few years, which includes a few from Qualcomm’s abandoned server chip efforts along with the similar hiring pool used by Nvidia, Intel and AMD.