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Apple unveils plans to ditch Intel chips in Macs for 'Apple Silicon'

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
A long time coming and another big win for TSMC!

In a "historic day," Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced a shift to Apple Silicon, with technologies in place to run existing Intel apps with Rosetta 2.

Prior to turning over the focus to Johny Srouji, senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies, Cook discussed the three major transitions in the Mac's history, naming the shift to Power PC, macOS, and Intel. Saying that the journey to Mac on a custom chip has been over a decade, Apple is bringing the history of shipping 10 billion chips to the Mac, for the first time. Apple says that its chip architecture that began with the iPhone provides the best performance per watt, with the new systems designed for a sweet spot of power and performance.


Apple MAC Silicon.jpg
 

Portland

Member
Easier said than done. On paper it makes sense but in practice I would be surprised if apple completely shuts intels off.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
It will be a transition like anything else in the systems business. In my experience Apple has the time and money to do it, no problem. Just like QCOM and the other chip vendors that got crossed up with Apple. And let's not forget about Imagination Technologies.

Easier said than done. On paper it makes sense but in practice I would be surprised if apple completely shuts intels off.
 

hskuo

New member
Easier said than done. On paper it makes sense but in practice I would be surprised if apple completely shuts intels off.
There is always switch cost to pay. Will it be zero sum or lose-lose situation? Let's see the outcome soon.
 

count

Active member
Looking forward to seeing the performance of this. I'm sure Apple will do a great job with the transition.
 

count

Active member
There is always switch cost to pay. Will it be zero sum or lose-lose situation? Let's see the outcome soon.
It won't be either. Apple will create more value than Intel will lose by designing it's own processors. It's a net benefit situation.
 

Portland

Member
It will be a transition like anything else in the systems business. In my experience Apple has the time and money to do it, no problem. Just like QCOM and the other chip vendors that got crossed up with Apple. And let's not forget about Imagination Technologies.
The thing about systems companies is that they are in a bubble and eventually everything is mediocre. Just look at Nike. Apple's going the same way. It's expensive and their products have become mediocre and only a few really love it. Sure they have 5nm stuff but everyone will in a year or two and everything they make feels like an industrial machine that wears the users down.
 
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hist78

Member
Apple started as a computer system company and they are and still will be a computer system company for many years to come. Will their servers and cloud computing system using Apple's own chips be the next step?

Intel can't look it lightly just because today only 2-4% of Intel revenue is generated from Apple. If Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and many others are using their own chips in volume, Intel will be in trouble.
 
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count

Active member
Agree with the above. The other thing is that 2-4% of Intel revenue comes straight off the bottom line. The fixed costs associated with building new fabs, designing a new architecture, ect don't go down with revenue.

But the more important note here is the software ecosystem around ARM is getting stronger and if Apple launches this successfully, it will show that the software ecosystem is finally ready for broader acceptance of ARM in desktops/laptops (where to date, there have been mostly stumbles). Servers maybe a bit further down the road.
 

ChrisBoyce

New member
The thing about systems companies is that they are in a bubble and eventually everything is mediocre. Just look at Nike. Apple's going the same way. It's expensive and their products have become mediocre and only a few really love it. Sure they have 5nm stuff but everyone will in a year or two and everything they make feels like an industrial machine that wears the users down.
It's the perennial question, do the advantages of system integration (higher retained profits, fully managed user experience, etc.) outweigh the innovative drive of free market competition for individual components ("I've got a captive market for my part of the solution and I don't have to sell on the open market, so it doesn't matter if I'm a little late or less performant", etc.)? Apple has always been biased towards the former, for example with the graphics capabilities originally supplied by Imagination Technologies now absorbed into the mothership, and has built an ultra-loyal fan base along the way. This will takes some years to play out but if anyone can make it work, (IMHO) Apple would be a good bet.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
With prototyping and emulation chip designers can start the software development/integration/test process months in advance of the final chip's arrival so the time-to-market reduction is critical. Just one example of the benefit of controlling your own silicon and there are many others. One thing I can tell you is that Apple spends a WHOLE lot of money on prototyping and emulation, absolutely.


It's the perennial question, do the advantages of system integration (higher retained profits, fully managed user experience, etc.) outweigh the innovative drive of free market competition for individual components ("I've got a captive market for my part of the solution and I don't have to sell on the open market, so it doesn't matter if I'm a little late or less performant", etc.)? Apple has always been biased towards the former, for example with the graphics capabilities originally supplied by Imagination Technologies now absorbed into the mothership, and has built an ultra-loyal fan base along the way. This will takes some years to play out but if anyone can make it work, (IMHO) Apple would be a good bet.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
Looking forward to seeing the performance of this. I'm sure Apple will do a great job with the transition.
Right now they are "leaking" Geekbench" numbers which are a good test for Apple CPUs but it is running through an x86 version via emulator. Very close to being fake news but the Apple based media is eating it up of course.
 
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