TSMC to Remain Sole iPhone Chip Supplier, Could Provide ARM-Based Chips for Mac in 2020, Apple Car Chips in 2023

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC is set to remain one of Apple's most important suppliers in the years to come, according to a note to investors shared today by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who now works for TF International Securities.

    TSMC manufactures the A-Series chips that are used in Apple's iPhones. The company has been Apple's sole supplier for iPhone chips for a few years, and will continue to be Apple's only supplier in 2019 and 2020 for the A13 and A14 chips Apple is expected to use in those devices.

    [​IMG]

    According to Kuo, Apple will become increasingly dependent on TSMC in the years to come due to TSMC's "superior design and production capabilities" compared to its competitors and the fact that TSMC, unlike Samsung and other Apple suppliers, does not compete with Apple in other markets.

    In the future, Kuo believes TSMC will manufacture Apple-designed ARM-based processors for Mac models starting in 2020 or 2021. Rumors have suggested Apple is planning to transition away from Intel chips to its own custom-made chips starting as early as 2020, which Kuo reiterates in today's report.

    There are multiple benefits to custom-designed Mac chips, including no delays because of Intel's manufacturing issues, better profits, more control over design, and differentiation from competitors' products.
    Kuo also suggests Apple will recruit TSMC to manufacture chips for its upcoming Apple Car starting in 2023 to 2025.
    In an August report, Kuo said that Apple will launch a full Apple Car in 2023 to 2025, reviving rumors about Apple's work on a complete vehicle. Prior to that report, it was believed Apple had shelved plans for a vehicle and was instead focusing solely on autonomous driving software that could perhaps be integrated into partner vehicles.

    Article Link: TSMC to Remain Sole iPhone Chip Supplier, Could Provide ARM-Based Chips for Mac in 2020, Apple Car Chips in 2023
     
  2. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #2
    Question: Why would Apple spend years redesigning the Mac Pro to release them on Intel chips in 2019 only to move everything to ARM in 2020?

    Either they're moving to ARM in 2019 or a few years later. If Apple can do for desktop chips what they did for mobile chips, then this is going to be amazing.
     
  3. AngerDanger, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018

    AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #3
    It's excellent that A-series chips are rivaling desktop CPUs, but I wish Apple's assistant would catch up…

    nearby.jpg
     
  4. Iogre macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #4
    Unless I am mistaken, It seems that Apples reliance on TSMC is only growing. Should Apple buy the company? Or maybe put together a consortium like they did with Toshiba?
     
  5. DNichter macrumors 604

    DNichter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #5
    I think they’ll keep the Pro line using Intel initially. I wouldn’t expect Apple designed desktop level chips until 3 years from now, personally. They’ll likely start with a MacBook maybe the Mac Mini to test the waters.
     
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #6
    There are more devices than just the Mac Pro. And of course there _are_ ARM chips that are more powerful than a current Mac Pro. You just don't find them in an iPhone.
     
  7. ghost187 macrumors 6502a

    ghost187

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #7
    If they can pull off such a transition smoothly, kudos to them. Apple's superior chips are the reason Apple Watch is "the" only successful smartwatch (aside from cheaper fitness trackers), and no one can match the size:battery life ratio of the AirPods. iPhone is at least 2 years ahead in terms of performance per watt, so imagine what they can do on the Mac. Can't Wait!
     
  8. DNichter macrumors 604

    DNichter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #8
    Maybe it’s time to buy TMSC. On the other hand, we have no idea what agreement they have in place. They very well may be an exclusive partner well into the future, but it makes sense to stay flexible on Apple’s part. Either way, good to see. I expect big things from both companies in the coming years. Can’t wait till they drop Intel, fix macOS, and come up with some new computing concept ideas. The desktop paradigm as we know it is dying, let’s see what’s next aside from a strictly mobile experience.
     
  9. Sasparilla macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    #9
    TSMC is the top of the heap when it comes to CPU manufacturing capabilities. The fact that Intel is still at 14nm for their mainline chips after so many years and all their resources makes one look at TSMC with serious respect.

    Apple has the right folks making their CPU's at this point. Frankly Apple could have taken their A11 based chips with small mods for desktop usage and started the transition from a performance perspective. It'll be interesting to see when Apple chooses to do this, seems we won't see any performance degradation (from Intel) and should see a serious increase in efficiency (battery life) - but there are compatibility and other benefits from running x86/x64 chips in their Macs.
     
  10. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #10
    Car makers do a similar thing all the time: redesign the body, then 2 or 3 years later, release a redesigned engine. This gives customers a reason to upgrade every 2-3 years instead of every 5 or 6 between upgrades.
     
  11. cb3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    Will current apps on the Mac (intel) run on ARM-based processors??? OR will developers have to rewrite everything?
     
  12. BootsWalking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    #12
    Great partnership, hopefully it will lead to much faster Mac CPU iterations once Apple switches over to ARM.
     
  13. jjhny macrumors regular

    jjhny

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    #13
    The PowerPC to Intel transition had many benefits, including being able to use bootcamp (which was a lifesaver for our company). The question is, how difficult will it be for pro software companies to write for Intel and Apple Arm. Also, will we have bootcamp, or does that go away too.

    If Pro for Apple means only Pages and Numbers and a few other major developers software packages, it may be time to switch to Windows for all the Pro users (which makes me just sick).

    Apple has really screwed Pro content creators. I have a hard time trusting a leadership who have animoji faces.
     
  14. LawJolla macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    #14
    There probably won't be much of a rewrite because Apple already compiles Swift down to ARM binary.

    On the plus side, the application story is much less of an issue than during the 68 to PowerPC and PowerPC to Intel transitions because so much moved to the web. Also, many applications are written in languages that can leverage different machine compilers (like Java and Javascript).

    It'll be a hassle, but not as big of a hassle.
     
  15. Internet Enzyme macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    #15
    Apple moving their entire lineup to arm in tandem is infeasible due to their staggered release scheduling and just the sheer amount of skus they sell so expect there to be a year or two where the lineup includes both intel or arm processors. Besides, pros wont want arm for a good while anyways. Pro machines will get the chips last i think
     
  16. obiwan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    #16
    This would be a really interesting development for macOS if it happens. I’m not sure if this would break compatibility with running Windows (via boot camp), which let’s face it, is one the reasons the Mac didn’t ultimately slide into oblivion.
     
  17. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Northern Ca.
    #17
    This rumor keeps popping up.
    Apple is not making transitioning from Intel to ARM.
    A mobile processor is a far cry from a desktop processor. The reason for ARM in cell phones is that there were two camps ARM and MIPS. ARM won. The first smartphones were actually MIPS (Windows Mobile).

    For desktop processors see the new Xeon and Ryzen Thread Ripper for reference.
    Symetric processing, multilevel caches, multi-socket support, multithreaded, PCIe root complex with 48 to 64 lanes of Gen4 (by the time they would come out).

    The eco system for ARM existed in the mobile space. It does not exist in the desktop space.
    Yeah, I know there are ARM Windows devices, and Chrome OS laptops.

    I for one would not buy another MacBook Pro or MacPro if they had ARM.
    I use VMWare to run CentOS/RedHat x86 and I don't have a substitute for running that for chip design and simulation tools. I'd switch to a Windows machine.

    Emulating x86 on ARM would be too slow.
    I currently own a MacBook Air, two MacBook Pros, and a MacPro tower that I will not replace with that coffee can thing.
    If they release another tower with current Xeon or Ryzen chips, they can have my money. They can have my money as long as they stay intel compatible. Moving away from Intel compatibility, means I move away from Apple.
     
  18. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #18
    The language used to program doesn't change between x86 and ARM won't change - nobody is using Assembly.

    The compiled binaries will have to change, but generally that's just a matter of changing a few parameters and clicking the compile button - shouldn't take more than a day in the worst case.

    A few years ago, Apple started having developers upload not-entirely-compiled binaries to them. It was an obvious sign that Apple wanted the ability to finish the compilation process themselves, so that they could easily change over all the apps from Intel to ARM or anything else with needing to wait for developers to do anything.
     
  19. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816

    magicschoolbus

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
  20. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Northern Ca.
    #20
    It will completely break compatibility. You would need to emulate the X86 -> Slow.
    Right now, Boot Camp works because Macs are X86.
     
  21. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #21
    This is possible. I always thought that the MacBook would get it first. The problem is that if the MacBook gets ARM, it's already going to be about as fast as the 13" quad core Intel MacBook (we'll see what the A12X benchmarks show). The other problem is the question of why it has taken Apple this freaking long to build the new Mac Pro if they weren't working on putting ARM in it? Surely since they've rethought it top to bottom to be modular they will want to build their own proprietary components. ARM seems like a good way to lock that up while also providing speed that the competition can't match—especially since they can fine tune macOS to take full advantage of this hardware.
     
  22. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #22
    CentOS is already compiled for ARM - scroll down to the Alternate Architectures section of their official website:
    https://wiki.centos.org/Download
     
  23. projectle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    #23
    Well, Apple deprecated boot camp support for a number of iMacs and even required people delete their windows partition to update to 10.14. So, Windows support isn’t exactly a given anymore.
     
  24. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #24
    Could Apple not create a desktop ARM chip which does all of these same things, or maybe even more, optimized at the OS level since they own that?
     
  25. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #25
    Windows is already capable of running on ARM. The issue would be windows apps that haven't been compiled to run on ARM. I'd imagine Microsoft's own applications already have ARM builds. I think the fact Adobe is working on full versions of Photoshop on iPad (an ARM machine) suggests that they're likely to be moving to be capable of running all their apps on ARM.

    I've already got a Raspberry Pi (an ARM based computer). Programs only compiled for x86 make me sad - Apple making this plunge should significantly increase the number of programs getting compiled for ARM and make the Pi even more useful than it already is.
     

Share This Page