Microsoft Brings Qualcomm Into The Fold For Surface RT Chip Supply

It appears that Microsoft is about to refresh its Surface RT hardware; according to Bloomberg, Microsoft has been testing versions of the Surface RT with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips inside instead of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoCs it’s been using thus far. This jibes with an earlier report that Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors would power Windows RT 8.1 tablets.

The report says that in fact Microsoft will be rolling out new Surface RT tablets with Qualcomm SoCs inside while still offering some versions with the current Tegra 3. Ostensibly, the change will primarily serve to enable mobile broadband; 4G LTE in mobile chips is an area in which Qualcomm shines.

Surface RT
Surface RT tablet

Although the Surface RT currently doesn’t use Qualcomm Snapdragons, other Windows RT tablet makers do; Dell, for example, puts them in its XPS 10 tablets.

Irrespective of the reasoning for rolling with Qualcomm instead of NVIDIA, Microsoft has to try something to invigorate Surface RT sales. So far, market penetration has been poor, and some tablet makers seem to already be bailing on Windows RT.