“For several years, Apple has been steadily designing more and more of the chips powering its iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches. This creates a better user experience and helps trump rivals,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “Recently the company got a fresh incentive to go all-in on silicon: revelations that microprocessors with components designed by Intel Corp., Arm Holdings Plc and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. are vulnerable to hacking.”
“Apple packs its devices with custom components that process artificial intelligence tasks, track your steps, power game graphics, secure Face ID or Touch ID data, run the Apple Watch, pair AirPods to your phone and help make Macs work the way they do. The result: a chip powerhouse that could one day threaten the dominance of Qualcomm Inc. and even, eventually, Intel,” Gurman reports. “Apple has chip-building and testing facilities in unmarked buildings in and around hometown Cupertino, California, and in Herzliya, Israel, a hotbed of new technologies. The operation employs hundreds of people and is run by Johny Srouji, who joined Apple in 2008 after stints at Intel and IBM and has likened his chip architects to ‘artists.'”
“Last year, Apple expanded its mobile chips arsenal to include a version of its Bluetooth-enabling wireless W2 chip for the latest Apple Watch, an AI chip called the Neural Engine and custom graphics processing units (GPUs) for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X lines. The new iPad, due to be released toward the end of the year, will probably also include the Apple-designed graphics engine and AI chip,” Gurman reports. “So far, only two Mac lines include custom Apple processors: the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and the iMac Pro. Apple is working on at least three updated Mac models with custom co-processors for release as soon as this year, including updated laptops and a new desktop, according to a person familiar with the plan.”
Read more in the full article here.
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