Apple could drop Intel and start making its own chips for Macs
09 April, 2018, 01:10 | Author: Grady King
Apple will reportedly start using its own chips in Mac computers as soon as 2020, replacing processors by Intel.
The plan, reported by Bloomberg, has been rumoured for several years, as Apple has taken on more chip design for devices.
Digitimes reported Tuesday that Apple is now working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce micro LED panels for two new devices.
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It appears Apple might finally be getting ready to produce Mac processors in-house instead of relying on Intel or AMD to power its computers.
Apple has said it doesn't comment on speculation which doesn't tell us too much. In a way, this will help Apple bring in industry first features and also upgrade their products more regularly. If Intel's stocks could fall so steeply with just mere rumors, it's easy to imagine what would happen if the iPhone maker decides to make things official.
Companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo and Asus all use Intel chips in their laptops and desktops.
By using its own chips, Apple would be able to more tightly integrate new hardware and software, potentially resulting in systems with better battery life - similar to iPads, which use Apple chips.
Apple may be concerned about security breaches that have been associated with Intel chips and want to close the loop around the production of their products. Additionally, Apple accounts for nearly 5% of Intel's annual revenue as well. The company's A-series of processors, now capped by the A11 Bionic chips used in the iPhones 8, 8 Plus and X, are all designed by the company for specific purposes, and based on an architecture licensed from British firm ARM.
Morgan Stanley's top-rated analyst Joseph Moore said he doesn't see Intel's roughly 4 percent exposure to Apple's Mac devices being fully at risk in an "investable time frame", reported Reuters. Also, Intel's business has been shifting more to chips for data centers and away from PCs, Muse noted. Since then, the partnership has remained rock steady, but Apple has made great strides in chip development for other electronics verticals, including the W-series for Bluetooth headphones, the S-series for the Apple Watches, the A-series and customised GPUs for the iPhones.
While Apple is down the list of computer sellers by unit shipments, it's third when measured by revenue past year, highlighting the premium status of its products.
Amazon is already reported to be considering developing its own AI chips for Alexa, and other companies may follow suit.
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