AMD Processors

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tubeexperience, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. tubeexperience, Sep 3, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016

    tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #1
    How likely are AMD processors to show up on Macs?

    AMD all new Zen architecture is supposedly a huge leap over Bulldozer. I said supposedly because no independent source has been able to benchmark the engineering samples yet.

    Obviously, it's very unlike that AMD's Zen would be able to match Intel's latest, but at least AMD would be more competitive then than it has in years. Intel would still have the raw performance advantage.

    AMD would offer Apple better pricing, but perhaps something else too: semi-custom SOCs.

    We have already seen such solutions in the Xbox One and Playstation 4.

    Apple could, for example, order processors with far more powerful integrated graphics or processors with certain TDP targets.
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    AMD has been just as bad or worse than intel when it comes to hitting delivery dates. I will admit that I haven't been paying close attention to this lately though.

    Other than that, I doubt they'll do it just because it's Apple we're talking about here.
     
  3. robvas macrumors 68020

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    Intel is ahead of AMD in performance as well as power consumption. Probably not going to happen.
     
  4. Queen6 macrumors 603

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    Wouldn't surprise, as long as AMD can meet Apple`s criteria and more importantly to Apple are cheaper than Intel. Vast majority of Mac owners will never be any the wiser...

    Q-6
     
  5. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Apple doesn't focus on price with their suppliers as much as they focus on quality.
     
  6. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Hahahaha.

    I think you just got laughed out of the room.
     
  7. Queen6 macrumors 603

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    Actually Apple focuses on maximising it`s margin, and squeezing the blood out of it`s suppliers is a significant factor of this.

    Q-6
     
  8. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Pretty much.

    Apple wanted to make MacBook Air with AMD Llano, but AMD could make enough of it.
     
  9. Queen6, Sep 3, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016

    Queen6 macrumors 603

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    Amused me as well. Apple`s quality is generally decent, equally I see profit being the priority ever more, over delivering the best possible hardware and user experience. Apple`s "target" audience for the Mac won't be compromised by the inclusion of more AMD hardware, adding to the already mediocre dGPU`s.

    Q-6
     
  10. tubeexperience, Sep 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

    tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Macs used to be for professionals, but these days, Apple's targeted audience are college students, soccer parents, and the like.

    They would hardly be able to notice the difference.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    I don't think so, I believe Apple is heavily entangled with Intel, look at their joint project, Thunderbolt - Apple helped them develop that. I also think, that apple views its macs as a premium brand (which is why they demand a higher price),and that brand would seem premium if used AMD for its CPUs over Intel

    You missed this story then Taiwan Component Makers Refuse to Lower Quotes For iPhone 7 Parts

    that's the Tim Cook effect, he's great at managing Apple, but he's no seemingly managing profits and not products
     
  12. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Not really. I worked for a key supplier of parts to Apple until last year and they did not squeeze is nearly as hard as Samsung. They insisted on 100% good parts however, with severe penalties for defective devices.
     
  13. thewitt macrumors 68020

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    Only because of the ignorance in the room.
     
  14. Queen6 macrumors 603

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    Good to know from someone who has dealt with Apple`s supply chain directly.

    Q-6
     
  15. thewitt macrumors 68020

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    There are a couple of keys to remember when you are talking about the components on a phone.

    Commodity parts will be priced aggressively, however you still must deliver 100% good parts.

    If you are lucky enough to have a critical part - and yes they still have single-source parts in their products - you will get a higher price.

    Here's the rub.

    They don't do incoming quality inspection, and when they test their phones during the assembly process, if a failed phone was the result of your chip, you buy the phone.

    If you are selling a $4 chip, and your bad chip causes the phone to fail at test, you buy it for whatever it's internal cost to manufacture was. Depending on where in the process that could be $100-$200 or even higher.

    One of our early shipments of parts actually resulted in having to send a check to Apple as we had too many yield failures and the failure costs ended up higher then what they paid for a reel of our parts.

    Hard lesson, but it drove huge quality initiatives and made us a better supplier with 100% yield being a requirement, not a goal.
     
  16. Queen6 macrumors 603

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    Interesting, certainly in my industry zero tolerance is frequently a norm.

    Q-6
     
  17. thewitt macrumors 68020

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    Historically in Semi, some level of yield loss has always been expected. Costs are directly related to the number of processing and test steps.

    We test along the way, from silicon to the final packaged product, but most of these measurements are testing process parameters, not operational limits.

    The first time a device gets measured for function is at wafer probe, before the die are cut from the water. Not everything can be tested here, and often normally high yielding products are only sampled.

    After the assembly process, when devices have been put into their final packaged form, a final test is done. This test can be high level or exhaustive - with the longer running test costing much more.

    These tests are still of devices independent of their final use installed in the customer's product, where interaction with other components will ultimately shape their functionality.

    Assuming we could test for every possible interaction with other components, and we could test every device in all configurations, then 100% yield would be possible. Expensive, but possible.

    Instead we characterize, test as early in the process as possible, sample, predict, control processes with advanced SPC and process controls, and do our best to both keep our costs down and our yields as high as we can inside that constraint.

    It's a balancing act, and when the contracts are worth it, we accept concessions like Apple's pay-for-fail requirements.
     

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