Microsoft’s Windows Dev Kit 2023 Is Definitely Not A Surface Device
Meet Project Volterra, A $600 ARM Powered Dev Kit
Microsoft have finally released the Windows Dev Kit 2023, which physically resembles a docking station but can do far more. The tiny PC is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform, giving you a chance to try out their Neural Processing Unit and the accompanying SDK. The Snapdragon comes with support for just about anything you might like, from 5G and WiFi with MIMO support through to aptX Audio and 4K @ 120Hz support via HVEC.
Physically, the Windows Dev Kit 2023 offers 32GB RAM and 512GB NVMe storage, Wi-Fi 6, LAN of unspecified bandwidth, three USB-A and a pair of USB-C ports all of which are labelled as USB3.2 Gen 2, with a Mini DisplayPort for your monitor. The key to this devices existence is the NPU SDK, which Microsoft and Qualcomm hope developers will take advantage of. Theoretically an NPU can deal with machine learning tasks significantly better than a CPU + GPU combo, and can certainly be less expensive than an RTX 4090 unless you go all out.
It isn’t just for AI of course, as the name implies it will also be a great tool for developing Windows apps to run on ARM processors. Perhaps a talented developer will finally design a way to make Windows on ARM less painful and more useful.
Microsoft has delivered on its May 2022 promise to give devs a cheap piece of Arm-powered hardware on which to run AI-accelerated workloads for Windows, by revealing the Windows Dev Kit 2023 and placing it on sale at $599.
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