Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 30th Jan 2018 23:35 UTC
Apple

For several years, Apple has been steadily designing more and more of the chips powering its iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches. This creates a better user experience and helps trump rivals. Recently the company got a fresh incentive to go all-in on silicon: revelations that microprocessors with components designed by Intel Corp., Arm Holdings Plc and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. are vulnerable to hacking.

[...]

That original “system-on-a-chip” has since been succeeded by increasingly powerful processors. Today, Apple packs its devices with custom components that process artificial intelligence tasks, track your steps, power game graphics, secure Face ID or Touch ID data, run the Apple Watch, pair AirPods to your phone and help make Macs work the way they do. The result: a chip powerhouse that could one day threaten the dominance of Qualcomm Inc. and even, eventually, Intel.

Apple's chip business really puts the company in a unique position. No other phone or PC maker can rely on such a powerful chip division, with the exception of Samsung, but Samsung's own ARM chips are nowhere near as powerful as Apple's. Assuming Apple manages to turn their chip prowess into real-world advantages for users, it'll be hard for competitors to catch up.

Thread beginning with comment 653383
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
viton
Member since:
2005-08-09

using the same building-blocks.

So what are these "off-the-shelf" building blocks Apple is using for their CPU cores? Logic gates?
The factory is providing that for synthesis.

Reply Parent Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

So what are these "off-the-shelf" building blocks Apple is using for their CPU cores? Logic gates? The factory is providing that for synthesis.


I find this whole discussion fascinating - people who literally know nothing about how this process works grasping to cobble together anything that might explain how Apple could possibly design a CPU...

The explanation is rather mundane - they actually know how to design CPUs. How that is hard for anyone to believe when its public knowledge they bought an establish 150 person design team 10 years ago (one of the best in the world mind you) I don't quite understand.

Reply Parent Score: 2

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

How that is hard for anyone to believe when its public knowledge they bought an establish 150 person design team 10 years ago (one of the best in the world mind you) I don't quite understand.

There are people who are not comfortable with the idea that Apple has CPU engineers at all.
So they believe in a magic "ARM reference design" system there Jonny Ive just switching a couple of levers to get the leading performance CPU. Then Samsung is doing the rest of job.

But they can't explain why other CPU teams can't switch the same levers and put the "basic blocks" together in the same combination to get equally fast CPU =)

Reply Parent Score: 2