Nvidia CEO: Next-generation Microsoft Surface will be powered by Nvidia

Surface RT

Believe it or not, Microsoft is working on a second-generation of Surface devices. If you had any doubts, you can put those to rest.  But what exactly is going to be powering the different variants of Surface? Most of you are really wishing for a Haswell version of the Surface Pro (I am), but what about RT? Comments from Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, indicate that you’ll find some more magic from Nvidia.

Speaking to CNET, Huang confirmed that his company is working hard on the second-generation Surface. What does the CEO of Nvidia think caused poor sales of the Surface RT? The lack of Outlook app for Windows RT (not the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor from 2011 inside). He also mentions Nvidia is working with Microsoft on making Outlook work great for Windows 8 on ARM chips:

"It is the killer app for Windows. Now we're going to bring it with the second-generation Surface. We're working really hard on it, and we hope that it's going to be a big success."

So there you have it, the next generation Surface RT will again be powered by Nvidia inside. We can only hope performance is up a little zippier this time around. We’ve heard rumors of Qualcomm being inside a future Surface device. It’s totally possible that something like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 ends up in a Surface device in the 7 to 8 inch range. Which would be perfect if it includes LTE connectivity.

Source: CNET


Reader comments

Nvidia CEO: Next-generation Microsoft Surface will be powered by Nvidia


I agree, but to be fair the Tegra 3 in my Surface does a fine job. Yes, it would be nice to have a bit more juice, and the next Surface RT's Tegra 4 should make it at least twice as powerful as the current machine overall. ARM is reaching a similar power plateau that x86 reached a couple of years ago - everything a user really needs could be done two years ago on a Tegra 3. Now, it's a matter of doing it better while using less energy (until there's some kind of revolution in battery tech).

I agree, I do not use my RT thinking jeez this needs more power. I did however think jeez I wish it had Outlook and thats been fixed. I guess I have a while to go before I switcheroo this unit so for now count me out of the RT 2 rat race.
One thing its does need though is those USB drivers for network and 3G modem sticks but that again does not need a faster chip it just need Microsoft to make them and suppliers to produce them.

After how terrible the tegra 3 performed in the surface RT, I don't trust tegra 4 to be as smooth as windows RT on a Qualcomm chip. Regardless, I'll be getting a haswell tablet

Whatever. Mine has performed just fine. I dont know what the hell you guys do with these things that they bog down so much. I have had maybe two instances of that since the original launch date. I run crap nonstop on it and it has been more than fine. In the mean time, my wife is the living Microsoft "I'm an Ipad and I cant do that" commercial and is nonstop asking to use the surface when we are on the road, because the iPad is to big a pain in the ass to do anything other than play games on.

I am going to back you up Kid...  I have 1 RT and 2 Pros.  Yes Apples and Oranges, but All were bought on Day 1.  After using the RT for a week, I knew I needed the Pro. So Dad got the RT me and my colege bound daughter got Pros.
Now If you dumb the graphics down on the RT it runs much Better.  But in the end, it is short on power.  and 100% Boost and I think the Device would be great.

So many people on the internet claims Surface Pro is the way to go and continually talk about poor sales if Surface RT, yet the RT has been outselling the Pro. I don't get it.

It's all about the Benjamins. Saying that RT outsells Pro isn't saying much. Both underperform and are overpriced. It's that simple. People aren't seeing sufficient value of either because it isn't there.

The Tegra 3 was a horrible chipset for a Windows tablet that caused performance issues. It is very much a reason why I wouldn't recommend a Surface RT.

Exactly. I almost spat out my beer when I read him claim that it was lack of Outlook that messed up Surface RT sales.  I'm a solid MS fanboy but the experience of the Tegra powered Surface RT has basically made me a WinRT hater.  Maybe next gen will change my mind, but I probably will never find out, because I'm getting a Haswell device with real CPU/Graphics.

Currently, a boatload destroy it, but for it's time I think the S4 Qualcomm chip was much better. My girlfriend has the Surface RT and I have the Dell XPS 10, and my tablet is noticeably smoother while gaming ans HD video playback.

That's a huge problem then. If there are less manufacturers making RT devices, we are stuck with what Microsoft decides to use in their hardware. I was under the impression that RT only runs with certain SOCs, Tegra being the preferred chipset. Without diversity and competition, RT will never gain traction the same way x86 windows did. Nvidia will need to make tegra 4 a very compelling chipset compared to the others!

There is no Outlook RT on Windows RT today.  Just desktop Outlook.  After Windows 8.1 ships, then we supposedly get it.  And it had better be good (and blazingly fast) after all this waiting.

Good news to me, I like nvidia. Tegra 3 isn't that bad on Surface RT, considering how old the processor is. Looking forward to upgrading to the next gen, assuming they don't make it an 8 inch device.

MS Surface 2 is coming out Q4/13 @the same time Nvidia Tegra 5!

Tegra 4 is to slow!

Snapdragon 800 series is the fastest ARMv7 right now till Tegra 5.

no it isn't STFU.  Plus one thing Snapdragon is lacking that Tegra4 will bring (when MS enables it) is the 5th battery saving core.  This support will come backwards to the Tegra3 surface too, lengthing our battery life signifigantly.

Regardless of the extra core, the Snapdragon has proven consistently to be the best solution when it comes to chips in a battery life and power combo. Also, the S800 can run on a single core at 384mhz just like its predecessor so it'll still destroy the T4 in terms on battery life. The T4 has a minimum of 500mhz(I think) on the Cortex A15 battery saver core but the Cortex A15 in itself is a horrible battery hog and has no battery advantages over the Krait 400.

Your post is the first and only on the internet that I can find regarding the +1 extra core enabling for Windows RT, there are nowhere any references to confirm this. I doubt this is true, would involve significant work from MS to re-write the kernel to support such unorthodox CPU functionality (remember, such change would require huge effort, but will give only a minimal advantage, and that enhancement cannot be easily highlighted in a new advertisements for stupid average consumers, so from the marketing perspective they will not gain much with such an extra mile). And I am more than sure they will not do this for an EndOfLife product like Surface 1.

first of all i said 'when they enable it' ...read dummy.  and they will enable it, especially now that tegra4 is coming to Surface, there will be two chipsets that need it.

the Metro office release will give these a bump if the pricing is right $399 for the 64 with the touch keys and a travel pouch.

I think someone forgot to tell my Surface RT that it was supposed to be sluggish and unresponsive due to its Tegra 3 chip. Maybe whoever was responsible couldn't speak Canadian.

Yer I don't get it either, my Surface RT tab is awesome. Running 8.1 makes it even more awesome.
(Perhaps these people have old information?)

Maybe gamers?  Everything I run on mine works fine.  Apps take a few seconds longer to load than you'd expect but once running I've rarely had any issue. 

Dear god. Thanks for saying this. These people complaining must be running COD on a snap screen besides a streaming Netflix Movie while Xbox music is playing in the background. RT has performed nicely. Most people that complain about RT are the ridiculously vocal people that do need a full Windows Version because of the desktop apps they run. The rest of us that are fine with the Metro apps and are pretty much covered by it, have been more than happy. But we haven't cried the blues as loudly. I'd rather them keep RT, I dont need to blow an extra $400 to be able to run desktop apps that I dont need when I'm on the road.

I think it more has to do with the words "Microsoft" and "Windows" being involved. All rationality goes out the window for many when those two words are the subject.

Yes, I cannot undersand all of the reports stating the RT lags. Mine is fine and I always have loads of things running.
Perhaps someone who is having sluggish performace could post some steps to reproduce?

I love my Surface RT. Let's start there. I agree with you that it is fast and snappy when flicking through open apps and returning to the Start Screen, etc. But it does take too long to open apps (and then once they finally load up enough to open, it's more time waiting for everything to 'fill in'--I'm thinking of the Games app here). That is the only disappointment I've had with it, but I would still recommend it wholeheartedly as the best tablet you can get. There are just way too many other awesome features that I don't get why anyone would get an iPad or Android.

Yes, the music app is poor, I agree. I'm sure it will get better over time. The 'filling in' you perceive as being slow, is probably down to your broadband speed as the info is pulled from the Xbox Live servers in the example of Games app.

Because it does a ton of other things that no other tablet does, and quite well too. There are some disappointments, but it's first generation hardware and software and it's still the best tablet on the market. 
 I think I just got spoiled with how snappy Windows Phone 8.


Genuinely interested: What does Surface do that "no" other tablet can do, aside from side-by-side apps. I really want to know.

1. side-by-side apps
2. ability to connect it to a 2nd monitor via HDMI output (two screens to improve work ability)
3. microSD slot for expandable storage and easy transfer of files between devices
4. USB port for easy connection to USB drives, peripherals such as printers, cameras, and phones (including charging my phone too)
5. multiple accounts (so my wife and I can share our Surface and also sign in on any other Windows RT/8 device and easily access our apps and settings
6. built-in kickstand so that I don't have to fhold the thing forever and makes working on a table-top very useful
7. snap-on keyboard that also serves as a cover
8. Full Office suite inclluded (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook), for free
9. SkyDrive built in seamlessly to the OS
10. an OS with a desktop mode with advanced administrator features
11. compatibility with a plethora of devices (printers, keyboards, mice, etc.)
12. Xbox Live games with achievements
I've got plenty more, but I'll stop for now. I know of no other tablet that can do all of those things straight out of the box. Surface RT is easily the most versatile and useful tablet that I know of.

Hopefully its the Tegra 5. I agree with most others here, the Tegra 3 is pretty bad on my Surface RT. I love the device, but it needs more power desperately.

I would just like to see IE work better with touch. On RT there is too much that you can't access in drop down menus. And yes it is too sluggish at times

I want a Lumia with a 12 core processor and 32GB of RAM just like my desktop. Guess what? I can't have that either. I can sell you a unicorn though.

But hey, if they can outfit an ultrabook like the Asus VivoBook V551 with an i7 Haswell and a GeForce gpu, a Surface Pro with the same isn't an unrealistic request. (reviews say the V551 gets about 6 hours of battery life)

Hopefully MS can get a bigger battery in there. They're most likely going to use one of the really low power ones (Maybe even the Y series Haswell) and have really good Iris Pro graphics to boot.

That's what I was guessing too. Any business that equips its field folks with $349 tablets is failing already.

Win RT is a problem because consumers buy it thinking it is windows 8 and get upset when they can't use it like a computer. I think Microsoft should create a 'Surface home' (maybe a different name) that uses an atom or i3 processor and forget about surface rt. The pro should have an i7, 8gb ram and a finger print reader.

Then battery life will be worse, they won't be able to hit 1080P+ resolutions this generation, and it will cost too much. Better to stick with ARM for light, thin, small screen devices until atom improves a bit more. x86 is fine for 10"+ devices where you can cram a big battery in, but atom still can't adequately run 1080P display with high res apps/games/videos without tanking the battery.
I would like this next surface to have: 9-10", 16:10 ratio screen, high DPI/resolution (eg 2048x1280), thinner and lighter than current RT, similar keyboard options, and it MUST keep the USB port. 

I'm pretty sure the i7 would need substantially more cooling than the i3 and other options. My heatsink is bigger than my fist but it can still get over 60 degrees on warm day when I'm pushing it. When the thermal paste was bunk it would easily get to 80-90 during heavy gaming. That's insanely hot, and you don't want that in a device in your hands or near your crotch.

I think the surface is slow not because of the chip inside but because the apps aren't optimized for the surface. Many times an app gets an update and it is super fast, then come windows 8.1 & slows everything down like when I first got the surface. I've noticed apps get faster with each update unless that make it worse.

Each update makes the app run faster unless the update makes it worse? That's a real ground breaking statement. Next your going to tell me its dark out all the time, except for when the sun is out.

Let me s.p.e.l.l it out for you. the point was that its not the surface hardware like most seem to think, its the apps not being optimized for the hardware. Need further proof go buy an android phone with its super quadruple core, yet its still slow ass fuck because of the software not hardware.... Get it now Billy Bob ?

Go look at your original statement....was in no way presented the same way....got it, Mary Jane? Don't blame me if you word stuff so poorly.

I was at the MS store today preorder my xbox one, so while i was there i was trying out pretty much everything in the store.  Most were surfaces, ton of laptops and convertibles, but the one that caught my eye was the asus vivotab.  Come to find out it runs real windows 8, it's the perfect sizing IMO (i find the surface, which i own, a hair too wide) and a decent price.
My point is, after trying out the vivotab, suddenly i realized what everyone has been saying, RT really has no purpose.
Why would i buy another RT tablet, when the vivotab exists with full windows 8?
I'm not a hater, i'm no tech guru, not a power user, so maybe i could be wrong,  but i no longer see any reason for RT to exist.  If there is a reason, please enlighten me because honestly i don't get it.
Please keep in mind i do have a surface tablet.

I have that tablet. Love it! No problems at all. Runs so smooth!! Love it! Love it! Love it! Definitely recommend it. Keep in mind I'm also not trying to control the Hubble space telescope with it, just everyday normal use.

RT is perfect for smaller screens. I wouldn't find the desktop much use on a 7or 8 inch tablet. I think RT is still more of a transitional OS which will eventually combine with Windows phone. 

Now will RT become Windows Phone or will Windows Phone become RT? Hopefully a hybrid--which is mostly Windows Phone. ;)

Why? At the price of the surface tablet you can own 2 nexus 7s with better everything ...microsoft needs to drop the price because no one and I mean no one will buy it at the current prices ...i love Microsoft but they don't get it

The surface has outsold the Nexus 10. The problem is the market moved on MS to the mini tablet where they have no product. The Nexus 7 is where google/asus are shifting major units.
If MS wants RT to succeed they can't worry about their OEMs feelings. Surface RT 8" with outlook, office & LTE would be very popular in the enterprise market if priced aggressively.
$299 Surface RT 8" (Snapdragon) , $399 Surface RT 10" (Tengra 5), $499 Surface Plus (Baytrail-T), $899 Surface Pro (Haswell Y-Series)
Come on Microsoft Get it done!

They need a RT tablet priced between the Nexus 7 $270 & Ipad mini $340 and they need a low cost option to the surface pro for those that want x86 program support.

If it was up to me, I would move RT to the 7" space exclusively & replace the 10" RT tablet with a baytrail quad core Win 8 Tablet at the same price point.

The most aggravating (lack of) feature from Surface is the incapacity of carrying 3G connectivity. If this one really comes with LTE, I'm buying it! I've always wanted the Surface, but it really feels like a downgrade from the iPad 2 that I have - and I own a windows phone 8, so I REALLY want a Surface!!

Agreed with Alphageek_UK. There is no need for built-in 3G/LTE. Just use Internet sharing on your Windows Phone.

I've done it once. Just drained my data more quickly (or maybe because there were 2 pcs connected to it, don't know if it's a huge difference)

What I would suggest microsoft do is charge Surface RT OS as free, that way pricess will go down and entice more OEM then more competition resulting to further innovation. They already have the Windows 8 OS to profit from, they should not focus on profitting directly from RT OS but rather the profit of the Apps purchased, apps will eventually grow as more demands comes in.
Well that's just from me a consumer's point of view, not sure what I would suggest from business point of view because I'm not.

I'd really want to see an AMD quad core Temash-powered Surface, like the APU in the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite.

True, ios and android tablets aren't selling because they have an outlook equivalent, there is still no compelling reason to buy RT.

i agree with him. one thing really puzzled me is why it took so long for microsoft to bring outlook to windows rt. it's almost like suiside.

Surface RT issue is/was not its HW. Tegra 3 is pretty decent. SW not optimized, lacking features, or not available at all, that's what killed Surface RT. Some parts are pretty nice, but some are horribly unfinished. If only MS worked hard and pushed out improvements, not many users are willing to wait for next system update. MS should listen to user feedback and issue fixes as fast as possible. I'm afraid it's too big and slow to do that, though. :-/

if  microsoft makes surface 2 with nvidia tegra 4
let look at the spec. 
Tegra 4 . = OpenGL ES 2.0 no compute shaders,72 gpu cores,5 cpu cores
snapdragon s4 pro the same as the new nexus 7 = OpenGL ES 3.0 and compute shaders , 4 gpu cores,5 cpu cores
the tegra 4 chip have the power to push 4 vertexshaders and pixelssghaders in paralell true the pipeline at one draw call
the snapdragon s4 pro has the power to push 16 pixel and vertex shaders true the pipeline at one drawcall
the tegra 4 clock speed is 57mhz and the hidden control core and the 4 cores can push 1.5ghz per.core
the snapdragon can push 2.2ghz per.core
so again a bad choise of an hardware by microsoft, just the same as in 2010,2011,2012 and now in 2013 and 2014
you allso have to remember that the new android os take up 45% of the power of these chips to run the os
Microsoft windows 8 and 8.1 takes up 70% of the power to run os
that is why the surface rt is bad, compared to the the old nexus 7 from last year
it has to do with the size of the os, compared to the android os or the apple wicth is aroud 2gb
where microsoft windows 8 and 8.1 is around 16gb
you got to ask your self this ?
Email,facebook and play some games then it is a bad option for you to bet on tegra 4 windows
if you do not playgames and only use it for email,facebook and work it will be a nice tablet
but then again if you are a family you allso need to play games

Doesn't matter what chip they put in. It only matters that Microsoft give people a reason to choose this over an Android or iOS tablet. 
WHAT IS THAT REASON? Price? Nope. Android tablets undercut it handily. Media content? Nope. iTunes and Google Play are far better integrated solutions than the Windows Store (you can buy and download books, magazines, movies and TV shows). Games? Certainly not being that Microsoft does little (new Halo game excepted) to leverage its Xbox gaming brand.
So that leaves Office and side-by-side multitasking. Office compatible suites are on every platform, so that's not going to do it. And sadly...the mobile device world isn't avhing for a better form of multitasking.  

I hope they will offer two models with either a Snapdragon or Tegra. I would definitly go for the Qualcomm offering.

I don't see where nVidia said anything about Tegra. Maybe, just maybe Microsoft will leapfrog Tegra 4 and go straight to Logan? This would give Surface RT the graphics capabilities of an Xbox 360 / PS3.

Right in. Without Outlook the RT is crippled, unable to cross over when needed from a Toy to a computing Asset. Apple's Mail and Contact suite is so limited that the only people who use it are in lightweight, non-Corporate environments but the rest up us need access to our work and personal Outlook accounts in fully functional mode. That pushes people into the Pro, who's steep price tag vs Android makes no sense for most Consumers. MS Marketing Dept's insistence on this Differentiation factor was, as mist if their decisions, a fiasco. When MS brooms the fools from Marketing they will have a chance to make some awesome hardware!

One hopes they have learned myriad lessons from this.
1. While it is understandable that they did not want to hurt their hardware partners, not going 'all in' with the Surface/Surface Pro was worse than just staying out and working with those partners to release the tablet they envisioned. They have to decide: Are they all in and accept some of those partners may fall by the wayside, or get out of the hardware business. 
2. Include the keyboard...no matter how they spin it, you cannot tout as one of the best features the keyboard and then force people to buy it as an add-on. How killer a value would it have been to get that keyboard in the price? 
3. I've seen this elsewhere, but for the love of god, get rid of the desktop in RT! That's why you have the Surface Pro. It's not a PC, stop limping on that legacy. Nothing aggravates more on a tablet OS than to see one of the setup screens telling me to finish setting up my PC. If you are selling WinRT to me as a purely tablet OS, then take the time to update the verbiage in the OS to reflect that. You'd never see the word PC in an iOS or Android tablet. Get it off of the RT.
4. Lastly, PLEASE either retrain your marketing department or replace them. Nothing turned me off quicker about the Surface than those ridiculous commercials with people dancing everywhere. If your ads don't make it clear why this product should matter to me, then tank it. Watch a few Samsung commercials. They have fun while also showing off features that are really cool. We're not all 25 or younger. Spend the time showing why I'd want either the RT or Pro. Might've saved a lot of gnashing by those who bought an RT thinking they were getting regular Windows 8.
Thanks for listening.

Exactly how does a mail app cause lack of sales,on a tablet? I am a huge fan of Surface bit I really can't get around that statement.

I think it would be great if the made the Surface RT the 7-8" device and the Surface Pro the 10" device. It would make a clear distinction in the two devices, therefore making the specs more obvious, as to the need for their differences.

Will we be able to access that Nvidia gaming thing?  I remember that Nvidia loved pushing their own little gamefront...  Oh well... at least the Tegra 4 is more indate.