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MacRumors
May 26, 2011, 02:34 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/26/intel-expresses-interest-in-making-foundry-deals-to-produce-custom-chips/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/05/intel_logo.jpg

Reuters reports (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/26/us-intel-idUSTRE74P43W20110526) that Intel executives today expressed interested in making deals to produce custom chips for customers such as Apple, signaling that the company "wouldn't blink" about basing such custom chips on Intel's own architecture but that operating as a strict contract foundry for non-Intel-based chips would be a more difficult decision for the company."If Apple or Sony came to us and said 'I want to do a product that involves your IA (Intel architecture) core and put some of my IP around it', I wouldn't blink. That would be fantastic business for us."

"Then you get into the middle ground of 'I don't want it to be a IA core, I want it to be my own custom-designed core,' and then you are only getting the manufacturing margin, (and) that would be a much more in-depth discussion and analysis."Initial reports had suggested (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/03/09/apple-shifting-a5-production-from-samsung-to-tsmc/) that Apple might be shifting away from Samsung for production of its custom ARM-based chips used in its iOS device, turning to foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for production. And while Apple may still be looking to shift at least some capacity to TSMC, an early teardown of the A5 chip included in the iPad 2 confirmed (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/03/15/chip-teardown-firms-confirm-ipad-2s-a5-chip-manufactured-by-samsung/) that the chip was manufactured by Samsung.

Article Link: Intel Expresses Interest in Making Foundry Deals to Produce Custom Chips (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/26/intel-expresses-interest-in-making-foundry-deals-to-produce-custom-chips/)



reminis
May 26, 2011, 02:35 PM
Great news! About time

iJays
May 26, 2011, 02:39 PM
very big IF ;)

chrmjenkins
May 26, 2011, 02:42 PM
The writing is nowhere near on the wall for ARM taking over x86 in anything but the mobile handset business. Now, if ARM starts to make a serious threat to their business, it will become a more serious discussion if they still have a 1 generation process advantage over the rest of the world's foundries. However, by doing so, they would only make ARM's products better, undercutting their own. I'd say them making ARM cores is a long long way away, if it ever happens.

Now, if you want to start talking about custom Intel cores that Apple collaborates with to make their logic boards, and by extension their products, more compact, I think that's a high value proposition for both sides.

NoNothing
May 26, 2011, 02:49 PM
If Stacy Smith ever feels like Wester Union's William Orton. Do you disrupt your entire business model for the future or do you keep the rudder going forward?

strwrsfrk
May 26, 2011, 03:00 PM
Obviously this would take some time to develop (years?), but this is potentially fantastic news for Apple. In the current context, I'm sure almost everyone would agree that a custom ULV Sandy Bridge chip stripped of its graphics core, clocked a bit higher, and coupled with a 3rd-party alternative would make a new line of MBA's unbeatable.

But moving forward, hopefully Apple can find ways to streamline its own processes while stripping away general-purpose silicon from Intel parts. If so, we could see smaller dies, lower power consumption, and higher clock speeds for Machines running Mac OSX.

The downside is that this could really hurt the Hackintosh community. People will make it work, but it will be less convenient than it is now.

Hellhammer
May 26, 2011, 03:02 PM
The writing is nowhere near on the wall for ARM taking over x86 in anything but the mobile handset business. Now, if ARM starts to make a serious threat to their business, it will become a more serious discussion if they still have a 1 generation process advantage over the rest of the world's foundries. However, by doing so, they would only make ARM's products better, undercutting their own. I'd say them making ARM cores is a long long way away, if it ever happens.

Now, if you want to start talking about custom Intel cores that Apple collaborates with to make their logic boards, and by extension their products, more compact, I think that's a high value proposition for both sides.

But it looks like Intel is seeing ARM as a serious threat. These recent announcements of Tri-Gate, lower TDP CPUs and now this are starting to look like Intel seriously tries to do something. Sure, Tri-Gate was in development for years so Intel didn't decide to design it yesterday but still, they could have pushed it further away.

ARM lets OEMs do their own chips which can be a huge advantage. If Intel allows the same, ARM has one less advantage. Great news I think, I would appreciate some extra competition between OEMs and this would definitely provide it if every OEM had a slightly different chip.

jav6454
May 26, 2011, 03:18 PM
On paper this is swift blow at ARM seeing as AMR licenses their designs (A4, and A5, etc) Intel's problem is that they don't really have the low power advantage, Atom is a joke about to be blown by AMD's Fusion APUs.

However, in practice, this will take some time since not everyone will jump ship to Intel's architecture this soon. That said, I believe ARM will have the upper hand for a while, and they will be using it fully.

McBeats
May 26, 2011, 03:20 PM
Aren't they already making kinda exclusive chips for Apple right now? I can't find any other laptop with the same exact i5 or i7 chips that the new macbook pros have.

jav6454
May 26, 2011, 03:24 PM
Aren't they already making kinda exclusive chips for Apple right now? I can't find any other laptop with the same exact i5 or i7 chips that the new macbook pros have.

Those chips are not exclusive, they are just a tad expensive for the average Joe computer. So they are not being sold widespread.

That's why all you see is either Celeron, Pentium or Core i3...

mdriftmeyer
May 26, 2011, 03:33 PM
Apple has spent a few billion developing their own IP and licensing of ARM IP with ImgTec to develop a NON-INTEL solution.

They aren't moving towards INTEL for the Embedded space. They are moving as far away as possible.

Just follow the LLVM project to catch a clue.

McBeats
May 26, 2011, 03:33 PM
Those chips are not exclusive, they are just a tad expensive for the average Joe computer. So they are not being sold widespread.

That's why all you see is either Celeron, Pentium or Core i3...

I see plenty of sandy bridge i5s and i7s on the market, but what other laptop has a 2415m i5?

mdriftmeyer
May 26, 2011, 03:37 PM
The writing is nowhere near on the wall for ARM taking over x86 in anything but the mobile handset business. Now, if ARM starts to make a serious threat to their business, it will become a more serious discussion if they still have a 1 generation process advantage over the rest of the world's foundries. However, by doing so, they would only make ARM's products better, undercutting their own. I'd say them making ARM cores is a long long way away, if it ever happens.

Now, if you want to start talking about custom Intel cores that Apple collaborates with to make their logic boards, and by extension their products, more compact, I think that's a high value proposition for both sides.

Intel is DOA for the Embedded space. Let them waste several billion attempting to compete against ARM licensing solutions. They won't win.

Not only is ARM the iOS Platform for hardware, it is as well for Android, RIM and even Windows 7 Mobile is moving to ARM.

elppa
May 26, 2011, 03:38 PM
Great news! About time

This is like when Michael Dell said that if Apple licensed Mac OS X he'd put it on Dell's in a heartbeat.

It doesn't mean it will happen.

jav6454
May 26, 2011, 03:41 PM
I see plenty of sandy bridge i5s and i7s on the market, but what other laptop has a 2415m i5?

Sure there are, but if you go to a Best Buy, weigh the amount of laptops with mid-high, & high-end Core i5 and Core i7 versus the amount of Pentium, Celeron and Core i3s...

The same is said for almost every brick & mortar electronic stores

trilla12
May 26, 2011, 03:54 PM
Looks like that Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) will be a great stock to get into. It'll be at a bargain price under $14 tomorrow and possibly next week~! Might think about adding it to my portfolio...:rolleyes:

firewood
May 26, 2011, 03:57 PM
Does Apple buy enough Intel high-end chips to make a deal?

"We'll keep on buying high-profit high-end x86 chips exclusively from you, if you also fab these cheap low-profit non-x86 chips for us."

Coopetition.

Consultant
May 26, 2011, 04:10 PM
Intel doesn't want to get left behind by our increasingly mobile based society.

ciTiger
May 26, 2011, 04:12 PM
Great changes ahead, that's usually good! :)

ThisIsNotMe
May 26, 2011, 04:48 PM
Why does everyone take this as Intel designing chips for Apple?

Apple can take their chip design to Intel and have them manufacture it.

chrmjenkins
May 26, 2011, 05:00 PM
Why does everyone take this as Intel designing chips for Apple?

Apple can take their chip design to Intel and have them manufacture it.

No one does. I think everyone who has commented understands that intel would be licensing parts of their IP for them to manufacture.

Cheffy Dave
May 26, 2011, 05:26 PM
:apple: needs to lose it's Samsung connection, and IT WILL HAPPEN, Samsung copied :apple: products, and payback is a bitch,especially feigning interest in AMOLED screens, and going ELSEWHERE, for your needs, my friend, SJ is very cunning,DON'T, ever count him out of the picture:apple:

chrmjenkins
May 26, 2011, 05:39 PM
AMOLED is the future. The question is when it will replace LCD, not if. Right now, Samsung has demonstrated itself as a clear leader in AMOLED displays, at least in mobile form factor sizes.

bdkennedy1
May 26, 2011, 06:48 PM
Apple is not going to stop until they manufacture all of their own parts. Trust me, they are probably already testing an ARM iMac. Intel knows this.

lilo777
May 26, 2011, 06:56 PM
This interview actually indicates two things:

1) There is absolutely no ongoing discussions with Apple about providing foundry services.
2) If someone were to ask Intel for foundry services when the product does not rely on IA architecture "that would be a much more in-depth discussion and analysis" as opposed to cases where the product is based on Intel core (no discussions there - Intel is absolutely open for those deals).

MattInOz
May 26, 2011, 07:10 PM
Obviously this would take some time to develop (years?), but this is potentially fantastic news for Apple. In the current context, I'm sure almost everyone would agree that a custom ULV Sandy Bridge chip stripped of its graphics core, clocked a bit higher, and coupled with a 3rd-party alternative would make a new line of MBA's unbeatable.

But moving forward, hopefully Apple can find ways to streamline its own processes while stripping away general-purpose silicon from Intel parts. If so, we could see smaller dies, lower power consumption, and higher clock speeds for Machines running Mac OSX.

The downside is that this could really hurt the Hackintosh community. People will make it work, but it will be less convenient than it is now.

Not sure it would be worth Apple's while to do this directly, but the interesting possiblity would be nVidia they don't have their own fabs anyways. So why not take their GPU cores and IO silicon team it with a couple of sandy bridge CPU cores and produce a single chip x86 SoC.

nVidia would be able to push them for lots of other uses basically anywhere they are using Ion Platform now. So they have a much bigger market to drive a move here. I'm sure they could maybe Talk Apple into pre-buying all the top bins for the next macbooks, teaming them with dedicated GPU in the upper end.

Analog Kid
May 26, 2011, 07:50 PM
Anybody who's worked with Intel knows to steer well clear of anything that isn't part of their bread and butter business. Intel starts floating these ideas when they have excess capacity, or there's a dip in CPU demand, and then act like they've never seen you before in their lives when they have a better use for their line.

Apple might have the clout and legal team to get a short term deal signed for a generation of devices, but I'm sure even they are smart enough not to take this seriously. If Apple can affect the standard offerings coming out of Intel, that's great. Tapping capacity for a boutique chip that isn't on Intel's roadmap? Foolish.

jonnysods
May 26, 2011, 08:01 PM
Interesting development...

Intel seem very threatened by ARM.

theosib
May 26, 2011, 09:04 PM
A Cortex-A9 on Intel's new 22nm FinFET technology would be mind-blowing.

AppleScruff1
May 26, 2011, 10:10 PM
Perhaps Intel is actually looking at adapting to the future market? Why does it have to be fear? Why not good business sense? The entire industry is at the begging stages of the next major change. Why not be part of it instead of getting left behind?

jacksonkeller
May 26, 2011, 11:49 PM
Not sure it would be worth Apple's while to do this directly, but the interesting possiblity would be nVidia they don't have their own fabs anyways. So why not take their GPU cores and IO silicon team it with a couple of sandy bridge CPU cores and produce a single chip x86 SoC.

nVidia would be able to push them for lots of other uses basically anywhere they are using Ion Platform now. So they have a much bigger market to drive a move here. I'm sure they could maybe Talk Apple into pre-buying all the top bins for the next macbooks, teaming them with dedicated GPU in the upper end.

Doubt Intel wound agree to license out their technology like that. Nice idea though.

Hellhammer
May 27, 2011, 07:25 AM
:apple: needs to lose it's Samsung connection, and IT WILL HAPPEN, Samsung copied :apple: products, and payback is a bitch,especially feigning interest in AMOLED screens, and going ELSEWHERE, for your needs, my friend, SJ is very cunning,DON'T, ever count him out of the picture:apple:

Everyone copies from each other, that is the rule #1 in the industry. Steve said it himself: "Good artists copy, Great artists steal". It's simply impossible to not to copy something. We could say that every laptop is copying Osbourne 1, which was the first commercially available laptop. Apple, Dell, HP etc have copied the concept of a laptop from that. Sure, they are a lot different but the basic idea is the same and it has been copied by many others.

The bottom line, competition could not exist if copying was prohibited.

Samsung is much more than just a laptop OEM. They make LCDs, OLEDs, flash NANDs, hard drives etc. Apple would not change the supplier just because Samsung is slightly copying their products.

caspersoong
May 27, 2011, 08:13 AM
AMOLED is the future. The question is when it will replace LCD, not if. Right now, Samsung has demonstrated itself as a clear leader in AMOLED displays, at least in mobile form factor sizes.

Seems to contradict Apple being the one defining the future such as the mouse, etc.

bigwig
May 27, 2011, 05:21 PM
Intel is DOA for the Embedded space. Let them waste several billion attempting to compete against ARM licensing solutions. They won't win.
ARM is mostly concentrated in handsets. The big Kahuna in embedded is MIPS.

AidenShaw
May 27, 2011, 05:47 PM
Seems to contradict Apple being the one defining the future such as the mouse, etc.

You mean that pointing device which was invented 13 years before Apple was formed, and 21 years before the MacIntosh?


ARM is mostly concentrated in handsets. The big Kahuna in embedded is MIPS.

Every new Imac has a MIPS CPU embedded in it (probably a dual-core 64-bit MIPS processor, but I haven't found the spec sheet that describes the CPU).