Apple may be considering releasing a laptop in the future that
uses its own chips instead of a chip from Intel, according to
a report from Nikkei on Friday.
Apple’s iPhones use an Apple-designed chip based on the ARM
instruction set, but its current lineup of Mac laptops and
desktops use chips from Intel that run the x86 instruction set.
It would be a significant engineering challenge to enable
software designed for Intel chips to run on Apple’s ARM-based
processors. MacOS alone would be a huge effort.
But given the dramatic performance gains and low power usage of
Apple’s recent iPhone chips, it’s not surprising that
Apple would consider it. In fact, according
to some benchmarks, the recently launched iPhone 8
outperforms Apple’s high-end MacBook Pro.
Here’s a chart that Apple used when launching the iPhone 7 in
Apple’s ability to design its own semiconductors and other chips
is a huge advantage over other smartphone makers, who typically
buy off-the-shelf components from companies such as Qualcomm and
Mediatek. Apple’s head of chip engineering, Johny Srouji, was
promoted to senior vice president — essentially
joining CEO Tim Cook’s inner circle —in late 2015.
Apple is also looking to design its own chips for touch sensors
and its own modem chip for iPhones, according to the Nikkei
report. Currently, TSMC is
believed to be Apple’s primary manufacturer for its main
chip design, the A-series processor.
Get the latest Intel stock price here.