A sneak peek inside Apple's Chip lab reveals much more than just Silicon chips

Apple M3 chips
(Image credit: Apple)

In a recent report by CNBC, a reporter had the chance to visit Apple’s campus in California, and conversations with the head of Apple silicon, Johny Sruoji, revealed even grander plans than the Silicon M chips we’ve seen in recent Macs and iPads. 

One of the most important moments early on in CNBC’s piece is a statement from Srouji, on Apple’s choice not to sell its hardware to other companies. "Because we’re not really selling chips outside, we focus on the product," in his interview with CNBC. This shows a bespoke approach to Apple's chips that allows them to shine in purposefully made hardware.

When it came to the A17 Pro chip that's in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, "It was actually the biggest redesign in GPU architecture and Apple silicon history." said Kaiann Drace, lead marketer for the iPhone.

Apple isn’t done here

A particular section of note in this report is with Apple’s reliance on Qualcomm’s modems, alongside the future of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips. Ben Bajarin, the CEO and principal analyst at Creative Strategies, told CNBC, "Qualcomm still makes the best modems in the world. Until Apple can do as good of a job, I have a hard time seeing them fully jump to that."

When questioned on the potential of making their own modem chips, Apple’s Johny Srouji said he couldn’t comment on "future technologies and products" and that the company "cares about cellular, and we have teams enabling that."

However, when talking about Apple making its own Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips, Srouji told CNBC, "We want to build the best products on the planet. As a technology team, which also includes the chips in this case, we want to build the best technology that would enable that vision." This was a justification for buying chips from a competitor for now, but worded in a way, so it wouldn't remove the possibility of moving into those markets in the future. This lines up with reports earlier this year that Apple is working on its own Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips.

When asked about reliance on Chinese manufacturing of advanced chips from TSMC, Srouji mirrored CNBC’s concerns. "There is obviously a lot of tension around, like, what would plan B be if that happened?"

Apple has a working relationship with many companies to get the newest wave of tech out there and plans on supporting TSMC’s Arizona branch which is due to launch in 2025.

More from iMore

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.