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Microsoft to abandon Intel in data centers, and Surface devices

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This is much more likely to result in new chips for your data centers than for Surface products. According to the Bloomberg report, this move towards the production of customized silicon by Microsoft is more likely to result in processors to replace Intel Xeon chips in Microsoft data centers instead of, say, Surface Pro 8 However, there is still a possibility that this will result in a new Surface device.

The Bloomberg report is based more on allegations that these chips may be reaching Microsoft data centers. If true, it is unlikely to materially affect consumers in any way. But since one of Intel’s strongest areas is with its Xeon line of CPUs for data centers, it can be extremely significant for Intel, especially given Microsoft’s scale and its Azure cloud platform.

Bloomberg is now reporting that Microsoft is working on creating its own processors, both for its data centers and for future Surface products, based on ARM designs. It is unlikely that this will result in a new product in the near future, but if that is true, it will be another major computer manufacturer moving away from Intel processors.

microsoft a abandonar a intel nos centros de dados e dispositivos surface maistecnologia.comTechradar also contacted Intel for more information, which said: “The incredible demand for computing fueled by new information loads like AI is leading to greater silicon experimentation in the cloud. Based on decades of x86 ecosystem innovation, we are committed to providing customers with the best CPUs and new products in the world, from GPUs to AI chips. In this expanding market, we hope to gain a share in many areas such as AI training, 5G networks, graphics and autonomous driving. ”

What this means? If Microsoft moves away from Intel for future products, it would not be the first time that the Redmond giant has looked elsewhere. As mentioned above, both Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3 used chips from other manufacturers. So, for the most part, this probably isn’t going to mean much outside of the plan. What could happen, however, is to show that Microsoft is willing to work harder on optimizing Windows 10 with ARM, giving users one more reason to use products with ARM chips.

One of the main reasons why devices with the Apple M1 are so good is because of ´Rosetta 2´, a code layer that essentially translates x86 programs on macOS to be able to work natively on ARM. Microsoft has nothing like this at the moment, which means that the only programs that Windows notebooks equipped with ARM can run are those from the Microsoft Store, which is actually just a fraction of the available Windows 10 applications.

However, it was just over a month ago that Apple launched a wave of new Macs, led by the new MacBook Pro, abandoning Intel to internal custom silicon. It was a hard blow for ´Team Blue´, and it looks like Microsoft may be following suit. It is unknown, at this point, which products this will ultimately affect, or when. However, this is not the first time that Microsoft has moved away from Intel in its products.

The Surface Pro X used a custom Qualcomm ARM chip, and the Surface Laptop 3 opted for a custom AMD Ryzen 3000 processor – although the latter still had an Intel version available for professionals. And as Frank Shaw of MSFT says: “As silicon is a fundamental building block for technology, we continue to invest in our own capabilities in areas such as design, manufacture and tools, while we foster and strengthen partnerships with a wide range of range of suppliers
of chips. ” December 18, 2020

We contacted Microsoft and Microsoft’s Frank Shaw gave us the same comment referenced in the tweet above. This does not really confirm the report, but it does suggest that Microsoft will continue to work with different CPU manufacturers. However, none of this has been confirmed by Microsoft, and it is unlikely to happen in the short term. After all, Project Kalamata, the Apple Initiative to develop internal silicon, took several years after rumors resulted in real products. We’ll see what happens here, but it’s definitely an exciting time to follow the landscape in computing.

Source: Techradar

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