Microsoft semi-custom processors

By: Adrian (a.delete@this.acm.org), October 2, 2019 8:59 am
Room: Moderated Discussions

I have watched the Microsoft Surface Event, with the hope that Microsoft will launch the Surface Neo, with Intel Lakefield.

I would have been interested to buy that device, to be able to experiment with a Sunny Cove core, because I do not intend to buy any device with Ice Lake, because I believe that those are too expensive for their performances.

However, no luck, both Surface Neo and the Microsoft Android smartphone (Surface Duo) will be launched only next year, even if some nice demos have been presented with them now.


Nevertheless, there were 2 other interesting products among those launched today, Surface Laptop 15" with an AMD CPU & GPU and Surface Pro X with a Qualcomm CPU & GPU.


The interesting part was that Microsoft claimed that both AMD and Qualcomm customized a lot their CPUs & GPUs for the Microsoft Surface devices.

The Microsoft-Qualcomm SQ1 chip also includes an "AI engine" that seems to have been provided by Microsoft and which was claimed to perform inference at only 1/15 of the power required by a GPU for the same task.



The Microsoft-Qualcomm SQ1 is said to have a TDP of 7 W, equal to that of many Intel Y-Series processors, and it was claimed that SQ1 has a performance per watt 3 times higher than that of 15-W Kaby Lake Refresh processors (from Surface Pro 6) and that its GPU achieves about 2 Tflops.

Since the Kaby Lake R uses double power, that claim translates into having 50% more performance, which seems a lot, even when compared to the obsolete i5-8250U, which was probably used for the comparison.


I suppose that SQ1 must be a derivative of Snapdragon 8cx, especially because Qualcomm liked to compare its performance also with Kaby Lake Refresh.









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Microsoft semi-custom processorsAdrian2019/10/02 08:59 AM
  Microsoft semi-custom processorsBeastian2019/10/02 09:05 AM
  Microsoft semi-custom processorsAdrian2019/10/02 09:13 AM
    Microsoft semi-custom processorsAdrian2019/10/02 09:30 AM
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  Microsoft semi-custom processorsanon2019/10/02 09:17 AM
  SQ1David Kanter2019/10/02 05:25 PM
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