Not to be outdone by Apple, Microsoft is reportedly designing its own ARM-based chips for use in server computers and Surface PCs. The decision would allow the company to reduce its reliance on Intel, whose Xeon processors dominate around 90 percent of the server market.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Microsoft’s efforts are more likely to result in a server chip due to the fact that the chip design team is being led by the head of the Azure cloud business, Jason Zander. Surface devices shifting to ARM seems equally as plausible, however, as Microsoft already employs Qualcomm processors (i.e., Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2) in its ultra-thin Surface Pro X laptop.
“Because silicon is a foundational building block for technology, we’re continuing to invest in our own capabilities in areas like design, manufacturing and tools, while also fostering and strengthening partnerships with a wide range of chip providers,” said Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw.
“Microsoft has stepped up hiring of processor engineers in recent years, recruiting in the backyard of chipmakers such as Intel, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Nvidia Corp. and among those cut adrift when Qualcomm Inc. abandoned its server chip efforts,” Bloomberg noted.