Microsoft may be working on its own Arm CPUs, which it wants to use for its Azure cloud platform. That reports financial news agency Bloomberg. The company is also said to be exploring home-made Arm chips for Surface devices.
According to Bloomberg sources, the “ efforts of Microsoft ” are still more likely to result in server chips, although proprietary Arm processors may also end up in Surface devices. Azure Cloud CEO Jason Zander would head Microsoft’s chip design division, the financial news agency reports. With the arrival of its own chips, the company would be less dependent on other chip manufacturers.
Microsoft currently mainly uses Intel Xeon CPUs for its Azure instances, although it also offers instances with AMD Epyc processors. Microsoft’s Surface devices previously mainly used Intel CPUs. Today, the company also offers Surface laptops with AMD and Qualcomm chips. Previously, Microsoft also sold some products with Nvidia Tegra-soc. Bloomberg’s coverage has not yet been officially confirmed, although the company tells The Verge that they are ‘investing’ in silicon design and manufacturing.
“Because silicon is a fundamental building block of technology, we will continue to invest in our own capabilities in areas such as design and manufacturing, while also promoting and strengthening partnerships with a wide range of chip vendors,” Frank Shaw, Microsoft chief of communications told The Verge. . In addition, the company has been engaged in hiring chip designers for a long time. Bloomberg reported a year ago that Microsoft is busy posting such vacancies.
Microsoft wouldn’t be the first company to switch to Arm architecture for its server chips. Amazon Web Services, also a competitor of Microsoft Azure, has been offering instances with its own Grativon2 socs based on an Arm architecture for some time now. The switch to Arm is also not new in the consumer market. For example, in November, Apple released the first consumer Mac devices with its own Arm chip.
Microsoft itself already released a Surface Pro X with Arm-soc last year. That chip was developed in collaboration with Qualcomm. The two companies introduced the SQ1-soc last year and released a Surface laptop with SQ2 chip in October 2020. The company has also released an Arm version of Windows 10. Chip manufacturer Nvidia in turn acquires Arm itself for $ 40 billion, although that acquisition has yet to be approved by authorities in several countries.