Microsoft is developing its own custom ARM-based processors for servers and maybe even Surface devices, according to Bloomberg News. Some of the processors might be used in servers for Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, while another chip could be used in future Surface devices.
Microsoft currently uses Intel-based processors for Azure and much of the existing Surface lineup, though it partnered with AMD and Qualcomm on chips for the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X devices. Microsoft co-engineered the ARM-based SQ1 processor as well as an SQ2 variant, for instance. AMD also worked with Microsoft on a custom Ryzen processor. So, it’s not shocking to learn Redmond is exploring more uses for ARM chips.
Keep in mind Apple, too, has been slowly moving from Intel chips to ARM. Most recently, the Cupertino company unveiled ARM-based M1 silicon for its latest Macs. In our review of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, we said the M1 processor feels like the start of something new and impressive, and that it would be fascinating to see where it goes in the future – and how the industry responds. So, from the looks of it, we might be seeing more and more ARM.
When asked for a comment, Microsoft told the media it is simply investing in its “own capabilities” while also “fostering and strengthening partnerships”.