Mac Apple SiliconSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • A former engineer at Intel says its Skylake chip caused Apple to finally switch to its own chips.
  • François Piednoël is the former principal engineer at Intel.
  • Piednoël says that Skylake's quality assurance was the "inflection point" for Apple.

The biggest news out of WWDC so far has arguably been Apple's announcement that it will be transitioning away from Intel for the Mac in favor of its own custom Apple Silicon architecture. One former engineer at Intel says that he knows why Apple decided to finally move on from the company.

Reported by PC Gamer, François Piednoël, the former principal engineer at Intel, says that its Skylake architecture is to blame for Apple's decision to switch to its own chips for the Mac. Piednoël says Skylake was seeing an abnormal amount of quality assurance issues, mostly discovered by Apple.

"The quality assurance of Skylake was more than a problem ... It was abnormally bad. We were getting way too much citing for little things inside Skylake. Basically our buddies at Apple became the number one filer of problems in the architecture. And that went really, really bad."

Piednoël goes on to say that he believes this was the "inflection point" for Apple. The former Intel engineer says that Apple has been considering the switch for years, but Skylake's immense issues was the motivation that the company needed to finally commit to the transition.

"For me this is the inflection point ... This is where the Apple guys who were always contemplating to switch, they went and looked at it and said: 'Well, we've probably got to do it.' Basically the bad quality assurance of Skylake is responsible for them to actually go away from the platform."

Piednoël's claims would never be verified by Apple or Intel, but the engineer makes a good point about how Intel's misstep could have led to Apple's decision.

"When your customer starts finding almost as much bugs as you found yourself, you're not leading into the right place."