At its annual Surface hardware event,Microsoft
[https://crunchbase.com/organization/microsoft]today announced the long-rumored
ARM-based Surface, the first time Microsoft itself has launched a device with an
ARM-based processor inside. The 13-inch device will use Microsoft?s own custom
SQ1 chip, based onQualcomm?s [https://crunchbase.com/organization/qualcomm] Snapdragon and an AI accelerator, making it the first Surface with an integrated
AI engine. Microsoft and Qualcomm also worked on building custom-designed GPU
cores for the Pro X, which will run Microsoft?s version of Windows 10 for ARM.
The Pro X will be available on November 5, starting at $999, and is now
available for pre-order.
work culminated in thelaunch of a number of ARM-powered devices
[https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/05/windows-10-on-arm-is-here-always-connected-devices/] from HP, Asus and others, promising all-day battery life, the ability to still
run almost every Windows application and performance comparable to a lower-end
Intel chip. To do this, Microsoft is using a binary translator that converts X86
instructions into ARM64 as necessary, while still compiling almost all of the
native Windows 10 libraries for the ARM architecture. [https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Screen-Shot-2019-10-02-at-7.43.20-AM.png] Like Microsoft?s other new Surface devices, the 13-inch ARM-based Pro X will
feature USB-C ports and LTE connectivity. The screen features a 1400:1 contrast
ratio and a 2880?1920 resolution and can be extended to a 4K screen. At its
thinnest point, the Pro X is 5.3mm thin and weighs 1.68 pounds. There?s also a
removable hard-drive, a first for the Surface line.
Together with Qualcomm, Microsoft designed its own custom processor for this
(the SQ1). Microsoft also stressed the work the team did on building an AI
engine into the chipset.
Microsoft also launched a new, slimmer Surface pen for the Pro X, which will
feature its own storage space on the new Type Cover for the device.
It?s no secret that ARM itself has worked hard to bring its chip design to
laptops, desktops and servers. With every new generation of its design, the
company talks about how it wants to get more of its chips into these machines,
especially now that their performance is often more than adequate for many use
cases. With this Microsoft partnership, it?s definitely getting a bit closer to