The mighty technological evangelist Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently in its Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 announced that it would be producing its proprietary design and architecture of chipsets for powering up its Mac systems.
Ex-intel engineer François Piednoël cited this Apple’s decision to turn back Intel’s chipset is primarily influenced from the increasing number of bugs that are usually found in the chip maker’s Skylake CPUs which was powering Mac personal computers released between 2015 and 2017. He also points out that the quality assurance team at Skylake was found to be very bad as well.
As mentioned above, François Piednoël is a former engineer at Intel who left the company by 2017. Currently, he is with Mercedes-Benz R&D, North America as a Principal Architect. Maybe it seemed like just the opinion of a former employee at Intel. But it is to note that Piednoël was one of the top CPU Architects at Intel for about 20 years. So his citation could explain a lot many reasons for Apple to turn away from Intel.
Though Apple doesn’t officially mention the findings for opting out of Intel, Piednoël emphasises the high number of bugs on Skylake CPUs should be the only motivation for Apple to initiate the efforts towards it own ARM-based processors.
Apple sold 17.6 million Mac systems in 2019, registering a 1.96% YoY decline. The sales of Mac has been declining constantly over the years and Apple is leaving no stone unturned to revive its sales in the coming years. Due to the global outbreak of Coronavirus, the demand of PCs/notebooks are bound to rise and Apple doesn’t want to miss out the opportunity by providing Macs users to find below than expectations.
François Piednoël also stated that, at Intel, they were notified with more number of bugs citings and findings for even little things from Apple. That eventually makes Apple as the priority client citing crucial problems in their chipset architecture, which brings in the chipmaker a hard time to sustain the business with the client he added.
He also mentions this to be the “inflection point” for Intel, where Apple decided to make their own type of chipset to their high range Mac hardware systems. He says he personally was at this heat of inflection point three years ago and witnessed Apple’s key conclusion to produce their own chipset architecture.
Apple’s complete shift from Intel to Apple silicon is said to take at least two years. But the company assures that its first Arm-based Macs will be available by the end of the year. In a statement, Apple ascertains the fact that for some near future, the company will continue to support Intel-based Macs.
It’s not only Apple to struggle with Intel’s Skylake, but also Microsoft was facing the same situation with the chipset maker.
It is found that because of the bugs in the Intel’s 6th generation CPU chipset architecture, and of the Skylake there were issues in the Microsoft systems.
Microsoft also reported the same kind of reliability problems in its first-generation Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 systems as cited by Microsoft observer Paul Thurrott. He also mentioned this issue as “Surfacegate“.
It seems Microsoft also confronted a PR catastrophe with regards to this CPU chipset bugs. That is in 2016, NFL Patriots coach Bill Belichick frustratedly broke his Surface barely at a match.
He also asserted that breakdowns on the notebook computers were quite a common issue. That may not be Intel’s mistake too, and also it never came to limelight of what Surface tablet he was using at that time. But what was much interesting in this disaster is that Microsoft was actually promoting the Surface Pro 4 with the NFL in 2016.
Apple’s motive to produce its own chipset would pave the way for a more secure system architecture that could stand against any malicious attacks. Also, the company is aspiring to get full control to achieve greater feats in the design and development of its brand products. It is also expected that Apple will be building a 24-hour battery life with inbuilt 5G connectivity with its proprietary chipset architecture. It’s just that Apple’s best is yet to come!