This is in addition to industry-wide efforts to reduce reliance on Intel processor technology.
Microsoft is using designs based on the ARM architecture to produce its processors that are meant to be used in data centers, and it is also exploring the use of another chip that would run some Surface devices.
This step represents a major commitment from Microsoft to equip itself with the most important piece of hardware it uses.
Cloud computing competitors, such as Amazon, are following this path through similar efforts.
The companies said that their processors are better suited to some of their needs, as they provide cost and performance benefits compared to the off-the-shelf processors that Intel primarily provides.
Microsoft’s efforts are more likely to lead to the emergence of its server processor than its Surface processor.
The company’s chip design unit reports to Jason Zander, head of Azure’s cloud business, rather than to Panos Panay, who oversees Surface products.
A Microsoft spokesman said: Given that the processor is the building block of technology, we continue to invest in our own capabilities in areas such as design, manufacturing and tools, while strengthening and strengthening partnerships with a wide range of processor providers.
Microsoft currently uses Intel processors within most Azure cloud services, and most of the company’s Surface lineup works with Intel processors as well.
Microsoft has worked with AMD and Qualcomm to get its own processors for Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X, showing its willingness to move away from Intel.
Microsoft last year participated in the architecture of the ARM-based SQ1 processor for the Surface Pro X and followed up with the SQ2 variant two months ago.
AMD also worked with Microsoft to build a special version of the Ryzen processor for Surface Laptop 3.
The move to server-side ARM is definitely more important, especially for Intel, whose processors dominate the server market, and AMD has begun to break into this lucrative market with its EPYC processors.
Microsoft’s main cloud competitor, Amazon, appears to be a major threat to Intel and AMD with its ARM-based Graviton2 processors, launched a year ago via AWS.