Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple announced three new Mac computers that work on the M1 chip from Apple instead of Intel processors: the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.
Yesterday’s announcement marked the end of a 15-year partnership where Intel processors powered Apple’s laptops and desktops, as well as a major shift in the semiconductor industry.
According to market research firm (Gartner) estimates, Apple is the fourth largest PC manufacturer in the world, so its plan to use its own chips in its entire range of notebook and desktop computers is a blow to Intel.
“We believe that Intel processor computers, such as the 11th generation Intel Core laptop processors, provide global customers with the best experience in the areas they value most, as well as being the most open platform for developers,” Intel said in a statement.
Apple’s chips are based on ARM technology, instead of the x86 architecture used by Intel chips. ARM technology was originally designed for mobile devices, so that chips built with ARM designs are more efficient, resulting in longer battery life.
Here is a summary of the reasons why Apple took this step:
Apple’s strategy to own the basic technologies:
The company has a long-term strategy of owning and controlling the core technologies behind the products it makes, and for the computer hardware company, there are few technologies less important than the silicon processors that power computers.
Apple has invested heavily in the silicon division, including major purchases, such as the purchase of PA Semi in 2008 for $ 278 million, and the purchase of part of Intel’s modem business in 2019 for $ 1 billion.
The company has been building A-series chips for iPhones, iPads and smart watches since 2010, and is now providing essentially the same technology to laptops and desktops, which means that all Apple computers work primarily through the same frame.
The Apple Silicon chip is in line with Apple’s strategic goal of controlling an entire group, so it now has everything in computing from silicon to software to how a user moves a mouse.
Controlling its technologies helps integrate its products deeper, and it also means it manages its schedule – since chips take 3 years to develop – and has more control over costs.
Apple believes it can innovate faster than Intel and Qualcomm’s standard business model.
Intel lags in manufacturing:
Intel lags behind in terms of manufacturing, as the M1 chip in new Mac computers uses 5nm manufacturing technology compared to Intel 10nm manufacturing technology.
The more transistors a chipmaker can add in the same space, the more efficient the chip increases, and Intel is currently shipping chips with only 10nm transistors.
Intel is known for controlling its own factories around the world, compared to Apple, which contracts with companies in Asia to manufacture chips according to their own specifications, but TSMC, Apple’s partner in making the chips, can make 5-nanometer chips while Intel cannot.
Intel has faced some challenges over the past two years on the manufacturing side, and the CEO of Intel said earlier this year that he is considering outsourcing manufacturing, like Apple does.
In light of the challenges Intel faced in moving to 10 nm and 7 nm, other companies, such as TSMC and Samsung, have taken off more aggressively by acquiring a key advantage of Intel.
Laptops work like phones:
Apple explained that Mac computers with M1 chips are better products than the old models, mainly because Apple claims that its chip provides better performance and longer battery life; What it can achieve with Intel chips.
It is clear that the new Mac devices will improve battery life, as previous Apple chips were used in smartphones and tablets, which contain much smaller batteries.
The company confirmed during yesterday’s launch event how it is essentially rating the chips by performance per watt, not raw.
According to the company, the MacBook Air can continue to work for 15 hours of surfing the web on a single charge, meaning that there is an increase of approximately 30 percent in battery life compared to the announced battery life for the previous model working with an Intel processor.
And Apple said: The new Mac devices also work like phones or tablets, with features such as the ability to wake up immediately.
New Macs can run iPhone apps, but the new M1 chip is nearly impossible to measure; Because the company did not provide any detailed evidence of any of the performance claims made.
Apple has not stopped selling laptops with Intel processors, and its high-end laptops are still based on Intel, which indicates that there are still performance advantages for some Intel chips.