Microsoft to build next Surface RT with Qualcomm: report

surfacertRumours are growing that Microsoft is set to tap ARM chip maker Qualcomm to supply processors for the next round of its Surface RT tablet.

News agency Bloomberg is reporting the software giant will include the smartphone chip maker in its supplier list for the second-generation of ARM-based tablets.

At this stage, it is uncertain whether current CPU provider Nvidia will remain in Microsoft’s plans however, Bloomberg’s source close to the situation says that Nvidia will remain a provider for ‘some versions’.

Microsoft launched its Surface RT tablet late in 2012 however, analyst consensus is that it’s generally failed to meet sales expectations. The current Surface RT is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC CPU, the same chip Google tapped for its popular Nexus 7 tablet. However, the Microsoft Windows RT-powered tablet could not only use the extra performance possible through an upgrade to Nvidia’s new Tegra 4 processor, it could also gain from Qualcomm’s LTE technology, providing on-board 3G/4G connectivity and boosting the product’s appeal, particularly in the business community.

The Redmond WA company has yet to make any official announcements about Windows RT other than early this month, when it reiterated its continued support for the Windows RT platform at the recent Computex trade show.

Microsoft launched its own tablet to take on rivals Apple and Google and surprised a few by choosing to go with ARM-based technology. Up until the arrival on Windows RT, all of its operating systems were built for the x86 architecture technology promoted by chip giant Intel.

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