Cupertino’s custom silicon: On the Apple G-series and the next 20 letters left

“Rumor has it Apple might start shipping its own graphics processors. The G-series components to its long-running A-series systems-on-chips (SoC), so to speak,” Rene Ritchie writes for iMore. “But G is only one of the twenty-one letters left in Apple’s growing alphabet of custom silicon.”

“The Apple A-series of systems-on-chips (SoC) were introduced alongside the iPad in 2010. The amount of customization in those chips has increased over the years as Apple went from licensing ARM designs to licensing the ARM instruction set and making its own designs,” Ritchie writes. Apple’s silicon team, headed by Johny Srouji, was so effective, they didn’t just beat Qualcomm and the rest of the industry to 64-bit on mobile, the competition didn’t even know there was a race.”

“A10 Fusion, Apple’s latest chipset, powered iPhone 7 and is expected to power the next generation of iPad Pro as well. It uses two sets of two cores: one optimized for high performance, the other for high efficiency,” Ritchie writes. “Based on benchmarks, it also looks to be twice as fast at single threaded operations as the Qualcomm and Samsung chips coming — 6 months later — to the Galaxy S8.”

“There’s a lot more Apple can do, both with existing chipsets and with new ones,” Ritchie writes. “Controlling its own silicon lets Apple do things like move artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision out of the clouds and software stack and into the chips.”

Much more, including Apple’s M-, T-, S-, and W-Series chips, in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

• In order to build the best products, you have to own the primary technologies. Steve felt that if Apple could do that — make great products and great tools for people — they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

Analysts: Synaptics faces Apple insourcing risk – April 12, 2017
Apple aims for more control, less cost as it accelerates in chip design – April 5, 2017
Apple could look to buy Imagination Technologies after ditching the chip firm, share price plunge – April 4, 2017
Imagination Technologies’ shares collapse after Apple dumps UK chip designer – April 3, 2017
Apple nabs top talent from iPhone 7 GPU chipmaker Imagination Technologies – October 13, 2016
After failed takeover talks with Apple, Imagination Technologies sells stake to state-owned Chinese company – May 9, 2016
Apple in ‘advanced talks’ to acquire Imagination Technologies for PowerVR GPU – March 22, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. Agree. Just from a security standpoint, I know I’d feel a lot better being under Apple products from Internet entry point all the way to my data storage and I bet there are a lot of others who would feel likewise.

  1. Each time Apple designs a fast processor, Qualcomm designs one just a bit faster. There has been a lot of crowing about how the Snapdragon 835 in the Galaxy S8 is seriously gobsmacking the A10 in various benchmarks. Qualcomm will continue to be a thorn in Apple’s side.

    I suppose Apple will be focusing on GPUs for mobile devices but what about their desktop computers. More of the same AMD mobile GPUs?

    I thought it was rather amusing how NVidia created beta Pascal drivers for GTX 1080 and such for OSX but yet the last MacPro that can use a GTX 1080-type card was discontinued in 2013. So weird.

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