Technology

Three reasons why Apple and Intel ended the 15-year partnership


The next generation of laptops and desktops from Apple will abandon the 15-year-old Intel processors, which will also be a big change in the semiconductor industry.

According to market research firm Gartner, Apple is the world’s fourth-largest PC manufacturer in terms of shipments. Therefore, the decision to use Apple-developed chips in laptops and desktops will affect Intel.

Intel said in a statement: “We believe PCs with Intel technology (such as PCs based on 11th generation Intel Core mobile processors) will provide the best customer experience in these locations highest rated region worldwide and provide the most open platform “.

Apple’s chips are based on ARM technology, instead of using Intel’s x86 architecture. ARM was originally designed for mobile devices, and chips developed with ARM architecture are always more efficient, which can increase battery life. On a laptop, this means a few more hours of usage time without using an external power source. But this is only one of the reasons why Apple abandoned Intel chips.

Having core technology is an important strategy for Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook often states that the company “takes ownership and control of the key technology behind our products as a long-term strategy.” For computer hardware companies, which technology is less important than the microprocessor.

Apple has invested heavily in the chip business, including major acquisitions. The first was the acquisition of PASemi for $ 278 million in 2008, which kicked off the industry’s growth. They recently acquired part of Intel’s modem business for $ 1 billion in 2019. Since 2010, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch have used Apple-developed A-series chips. Now, Apple is introducing the same technology for laptops and desktops. As such, all of Apple’s computing devices run basically on the same framework.

“The Apple chips perfectly match the overall control goal,” said CCS Insight analyst Wayne Lam. They now control everything from chips and software to the use of mice in the computer sector. Technology control can help Apple integrate more deeply into its own products. Apple Senior Vice President Johny Srouji said last year that developing the chip would take three years and there would be better cost control.

Production capacity of Intel lags behind

Apple proudly announced on Tuesday that the M1 chip of the new Mac line uses 5 nm transistors. “5 nm technology has a top advantage and only a handful of products today use it,” said Gartner analyst Jon Erensen. Intel products on sale use 10 nm transistors.

Generally speaking, the more transistors a chip manufacturer can accommodate in the same space, the higher the performance of the chip. Intel currently only makes chips using 10 nm transistors. Intel will control its own chip factories globally, while Apple will assign Asian companies to produce their own chips. Apple’s counterpart TSMC can make 5nm chips, but Intel can’t.

“Intel has faced a number of manufacturing challenges over the past few years. And I think these challenges have opened the door for ARM-based designs to enter the market. Apple is currently one of the best ARM processor designers, ”says Jon Erensen.

Intel CEO Bob Swan earlier this year said the company was looking into outsourcing manufacturing operations like Apple.

Not only can battery life prolong, but also improve performance and make Macbook work like iPhone

Apple says that the Mac uses the M1 chip better than older products, mainly because Apple claims that the chip it developed itself has better performance and longer battery life than the Intel chip.

The new Mac will obviously extend battery life. Apple’s previous chips have been used in smartphones and tablets, and these use much less battery power than laptops. Apple emphasized at an earlier presentation that the chip will be judged on performance per watt, not raw performance.

Specifically, the new MacBook Air can achieve 15 hours of Internet browsing on a single charge, almost 30% longer than 10 to 11 hours ago when using an Intel chip. If the developers take some measure to get App Store compatibility, the new Mac M1 can even run iPhone apps.

However, many analysts warn that these products need to be tested after they hit the market next week to confirm the performance that Apple has claimed. Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights, said: “The performance of the new M1 chip is fundamentally impossible to measure because Apple hasn’t provided any detailed evidence to back up the performance it claims. “.

In fact, Apple hasn’t eliminated laptops with Intel chips, and its high-end products still use Intel processors, suggesting certain Intel chips still have a performance advantage.

Phong Vu

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