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Thread: Apple Finally Dumps Intel and TSMC will Benefit Greatly

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    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    Apple Finally Dumps Intel and TSMC will Benefit Greatly

    This is something I have been waiting a long time for. I still do not know the exact timing but I can tell you it is coming very soon, absolutely. I'm fully expecting the "Apple to buy TSMC" rumor to get started again but I can tell you that will not happen, my opinion.

    I was in Cupertino yesterday and heard it from several people who would know and I will be in Taiwan next week. TSMC will have to gear up for this so we will see hints of it in their quarterly calls and CAPEX.

    For Intel this is a downgrade yet again losing billions of dollars worth of business to TSMC. There is a funny story in our book Mobile Unleashed in the Apple chapter about Steve Jobs approaching Intel to make chips for the iPhone. Intel passed on the opportunity due to low volumes and the rest as they say is history. Fabless semiconductor history...

    Apple Finally Dumps Intel and TSMC will Benefit Greatly-apple-intel.jpg

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    Last edited by Daniel Nenni; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:47 AM.
    Now available in print or Kindle: "Mobile Unleashed: The Origin and Evolution of ARM Processors In Our Devices"

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    Writing has been on the wall for some time, it was just a matter of time. In 2020, when this transition is supposed to happen, Intel will still be on 10nm (~7nm foundry), while TSMC should be at mass production on 5nm. So TSMC will be a full node ahead. This will give Apple a massive performance advantage vs PC makers who remain with Intel and will put pressure on Microsoft to accelerate it's work in supporting alternatives, such as the work they are currently doing with Qualcomm.

    From Intel's standpoint, it's only 1% of their profit, but the implications are much worse since Apple is probably leading a larger move away from Intel in the PC market.

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    Apple users like me want to know if all of our apps need to get re-compiled by each vendor when the new Apple CPU comes out, because that is a big discontinuity causing me some FUD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Payne View Post
    Apple users like me want to know if all of our apps need to get re-compiled by each vendor when the new Apple CPU comes out, because that is a big discontinuity causing me some FUD.
    I doubt this is going to be an issue as Apple has already been preparing for this move for several years (work on this migration started apparently as early as 2012). Apple has forced it's developers to submit intermediate code instead of binaries for years, so it's a matter of Apple automatically recompiling, vs the developer having to resubmit and recompile. Any recent software, or recently updated software, will run natively on ARM. Apple might include some emulation capability to support older software, but I don't think that's going to be much of an issue because of how tightly Apple manages it's software ecosystem - Apple removed legacy software from it's app store years ago.

    macOS Sierra code suggests Apple could replace Intel in Macs with custom ARM chips

    It's notable that Microsoft has started doing the same thing with developers (requiring them to submit intermediate code, taking greater control of the ecosystem via the Microsoft Store). IMO, it's inevitable that Windows will follow the same path as Apple away from x86, but they are a few years behind Apple in their transition.

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    count,

    Good points, I hadn't heard about the use of intermediate code by Apple developers, so that makes perfect sense as a way for Apple to gently transition it's users from Intel to Arm processors.

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    Designing your own processor is a tall order for apple to do. Intel has parts that function and parts that don't but everyone still wants an intel processor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portland View Post
    but everyone still wants an intel processor.
    Everyone?
    As a customer, I'm always looking for the best performance per dollar products. Guess what, most of the times those are not Intel parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portland View Post
    Designing your own processor is a tall order for apple to do. Intel has parts that function and parts that don't but everyone still wants an intel processor.
    Apple already has it's AnX series that could probably run desktop applications. I doubt that's an issue. You'll notice how in recent years Apple has compared it's A series processors to desktop processors and soon they will be able to make a claim like 2x as fast a desktop processor. I don't think "Intel Inside" really matters to most consumers anymore, especially not Apple's customers. Apple could rerelease a model of the Macbook Air with an A12X processor priced $200 cheaper than a Macbook with otherwise similar specs to test the market. If performance is up to par, they can just roll out it's own chips across the Mac Product line.

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