With the exception of a few unpopular tablets, all of Microsoft’s Surface devices to date have been powered by Intel processors. But that could change next year.

Brad Sams has just released a book about the history and future of Microsoft’s Surface products and, among other things, it includes some tidbits about Microsoft’s roadmap for the next year or so.

Sams says that includes an updated Surface Studio in 2020, and a refreshed Surface Laptop which is due to launch about a year from now — and at least some models may feature AMD chips rather than Intel processors.

It’s unclear if that means Microsoft plans to go all-in on AMD, but the company has apparently been unhappy with how long it’s taken Intel to make the move from 14nm to 10nm.

AMD, meanwhile, is already working on 7nm chips and it’s possible the upcoming Surface Laptop could feature based on the upcoming Zen 2 architecture.

Sams says the updated Surface Studio set to launch in 2020 may be a modular computer system, like the upcoming Surface Hub 2. Instead of upgrading to an entirely new Surface Studio when the processor, memory, or other specs start to feel dated, you’d be able to pop out an old module and replace it with something newer while continuing to use the same display, pen, and other accessories.

Other details/predictions from Sams include:

  • A new Surface Book with slimmer bezels and USB-C support is coming in Q4, 2019.
  • Microsoft’s “Andromeda” dual-screen device will look similar to Intel’s “Tiger Rapids” prototypes and could ship in Q4, 2019… if it’s ready by then.
  • There’s some other sort of new “ambient” device in the works that could be a smartphone companion that Sams says “may help with text input and navigation.”

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12 replies on “The next Surface Laptop might have an AMD processor”

  1. Hey,
    I really think that AMD has been giving tough competition to Intel. the processor are insanely fast and affordable. they might set a benchmark, and since I myself use it and know how pleasant it is to use the AMD, I really wish Microsoft will look into the matter create many more AMD based processor .

  2. I’ve generally preferred Intel over AMD, but if this means the next Surface Pro tablets will have much improved GPUs, then that sounds great to me. I wish my Surface Pro had Vega graphics.

  3. Got it, meaning it’ll never get GPU updates since AMD doesn’t give a holiday fudge about their mobile and embedded APUs.

    1. And Intel does? At least AMD’s integrated GPU are generally much better than Intel’s to begin with.

    1. Can’t tell if this is a knock on AMD or Microsoft.

      As far as I know, AMD has owned up to its criticisms of past with decent products, at great prices, and low consumer hostility. The same cannot be said for Microsoft, or Intel, or Apple, or even Alphabet (New Google).

        1. This is not true. All vendors have processors that are affected by the many different variants. Plenty of verifiable sources floating around.

          1. Incorrect. AMD was affected but nowhere close to the extent of Intel. Many of the security flaws (e.g. Meltdown and Foreshadow) are Intel-only or -exclusive. That means many of these security flaws occur only on Intel hardware, given the nature of their microarchitectures’ unique (read that as flawed) OoO and speculative executive. Search

          2. Incorrect. Your knowledge is outdated by a very recent white paper. Search

        2. Spectre affects AMD (and some ARM) CPUs. It’s Meltdown that’s mainly an Intel thing.

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