Ex-Intel engineer reveals the reason why Apple decided to switch to in-house chips for future Macs

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 27, 2020 7:14:01 pm

apple custom processor, apple silicon, problem with intel chip, why apple ditched intel chip, apple mac chip, apple mac intel processor Why Apple is moving away from Intel. (Express Photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

At this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple announced the third major CPU transition for the Mac as it decided to move away from using Intel chips to custom-designed Apple Silicon processors. Switching to custom CPUs that are designed in-house gives Apple more control over its lineup of Macs, but why the decision came now?

According to former Intel principal engineer François Piednoël, Intel’s line of Skylake processors is to blame for Apple’s decision to part ways with the chipmaker. In a recent video posted to YouTube, Piednoël says that the quality assurance for Intel’s Skylake processors was “more than a problem, it was abnormally bad.”

As per Piednoël’s account, while Apple was contemplating to make its own chips, it wasn’t until after the Cupertino-based company faced issues with Intel’s Skylake processors that it began to make serious plans for its own CPUs.

“When your customer starts finding almost as much bugs as you found yourself, you’re not leading into the right place,” says Piednoël adding, “Basically our buddies at Apple became the number one filer of problems in the architecture.”

Also read | Interesting facts about Johny Srouji, the man behind Apple’s custom processors

Piednoël says that it was the bad quality assurance of Skylake that forced Apple to actually go away from Intel’s platform. If that was not the case, Apple would have carried on with no problems.

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Piednoël blames the shakeup in leadership as well as the general mismanagement that led to critical engineers leaving the team and poor planning that resulted in poor quality assurance of Skylake. He shared the story to let the Intel shareholders know what actually happened. He believes that Intel is still a great company and that it can learn and avoid future mistakes.

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