Intel, as of February, has itself a new CEO. Pat Gelsinger is now the man in charge of things at the chipmaker and while February is a few weeks ago at this point it doesn't seem to have given Gelsinger enough time to find his own advertising people. Because the left hand is very much unaware of what the right hand is doing right now.
Just days after Intel went on the offensive and bashed Apple silicon, Gelsinger now says that he wants Apple back on board. Which seems unlikely given recent events. And the fact Apple silicon is currently showing Intel's chip design folk up in all kinds of ways.
But that isn't going to deter the new CEO. He's got bit plans for the firm's new silicon factories. And they involve Apple.
Gelsinger just said that Intel, which is ramping up a foundry business to manufacture chips for other companies based on their designs, will court Apple as a customer. The age of the Intel Mac might not be over just yet.Gelsinger just said that Intel, which is ramping up a foundry business to manufacture chips for other companies based on their designs, will court Apple as a customer. The age of the Intel Mac might not be over just yet.— Harry McCracken 🇺🇦 (@harrymccracken) March 23, 2021March 23, 2021
I for one would very much have liked to be a fly on the wall when Tim Cook and the team heard about that. Much chortling was surely on show.
It's really funny to hear Pat Gelsinger at #IntelUnleashed name drop potential collaboration with Apple on the new foundry business after Intel spent the last week on an ill-advised ad campaign dunking on Apple.
I don't think the bridge is burned, it's just eyebrow-raising.It's really funny to hear Pat Gelsinger at #IntelUnleashed name drop potential collaboration with Apple on the new foundry business after Intel spent the last week on an ill-advised ad campaign dunking on Apple.
I don't think the bridge is burned, it's just eyebrow-raising.— James Sanders (@jas_np) March 23, 2021March 23, 2021
See, Apple doesn't need Intel anymore. Before the Apple silicon announcement last year we were told that Intel didn't need Apple, too. Apple accounted for a minuscule percentage of Intel's chip orders and I was told that the company simply didn't really care whether it lost Apple as a customer, or not.
Fast forward a few months and it seems Intel really cares about Apple. Or is it just trying to save face and, more importantly, stop the likes of Samsung from getting ideas and switching its own computers to something produced in-house?
Whatever the reason for Intel's ill-judged and ill-informed attacks on Apple silicon, they were just poor form. Especially if Intel was going to go courting for Apple business once again.
Assuming that new CEO knew the attack ads were coming, of course.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
First Intel needs to figure out a 5nm process. The new foundries are expecting 7nm when what they have now is 10. If that comes to pass, if Apple contracts Intel to produce M1 silicon, is that an Intel or Apple chip? They aren't called Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company M1s now.
You can’t compare 7nm Intel with 5nm TSMC because it are different approaches. That’s a complex technical discussion why. Apple made the M1 design; TSMC manufactures the M1 CPU (with integrated GPU etc). The M1 SOC = M1 CPU + 2x Hynix RAM chips. Yes the RAM chips are supplied by Hynix not TSMC. In fact, the RAM chips are still on 10nm. But in the end that doesn’t matter that much.
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