According to the latest news from Taiwan, AMD is collaborating with Microsoft on a custom Arm processor for the Surface notebook. While the CPU would be based on the high-performance Cortex X1 core, the GPU would be a standard RDNA 2 (same as the Exynos 2200?) implementation. The targeted performance is on par or slightly slower than the GeForce GTX 1050.
There are no details provided regarding the CPU core count, but you can expect at least eight X1 cores, possibly with a low-power core cluster (A78/A55) as well, thanks to the use of ARM’s DynamIQ technology. On the GPU side, we’re looking at an 8 CU GPU (512 shaders) or 4 WGPs based on the mRDNA 2 microarchitecture. It should provide a healthy boost over the existing Qualcomm Adreno solution.
The custom Arm processor from AMD-Microsoft will be fabbed on TSMC’s 5nm node. Originally it was slated to use Samsung’s foundries to avoid supply issues, but poor yields forced a return to the Taiwanese team. As a result of this, the launch date has been delayed to next year.
Interestingly, the SoC won’t come with an integrated modem, and a separate 5G Exynos modem will be used for connectivity. This SoC won’t be limited to the Surface notebook, and we may see other laptop makers such as Lenovo and Dell adopt the same.
Considering the use of the Arm X1 core, you can be sure that the SoC will have a TDP of 10W at the very least, putting it in the same segment as Intel’s Y-series mobile processors. The GTX 1050-class GPU indicates a compact form factor, possibly a Surface Mini.