Intel significantly delays its entire server roadmap: Something is seriously wrong

Charlie Demerjian for SemiAccurate:

It looks like Intel is not just delaying a single server project, their entire roadmap has just slid significantly. SemiAccurate is now worried about what we are hearing from the company, things do not appear to be getting better.

Intel put some statements into the customer letter that were intended to sound soothing but as long as you don’t move your lips much when you read, were pretty transparent. The net effect was they horrified customers and OEMs which caused SemiAccurate to dig in to why those statements were made. The customers were right to be horrified, the dire picture we painted a year ago now looks rosy in comparison.

MacDailyNews Take: Desperation and failure are a potent mix and Intel is swimming in a vat of it.

The way is paved for Apple-powered and/or — dare we say it? (yes, we dare) — AMD-powered Macs.


    1. Apples adoption of AMD CPU’s wouldn’t be without merit, AMD and Apple have a very good relationship, e.g collaboration developing those Graphics cards in the new Mac Pro.

    2. AMD processors are generally cheaper compared to equivalent Intel CPUs, but it comes with a different price: they use more power, and generate more heat.

      Which is fine for desktops (as long as Apple sheds that pointless, upgrade-hostile thinness fetish even for desktops), but a problem for laptops.

  1. From Semi Accurate’s mid 2018 article:
    “…AMD never has a performance lead of less than 25% per socket, and that is the worst case for AMD vs the best case for Intel, fudged a lot in Intel’s favor on top of that. After Rome, the server fight isn’t even close, AMD walks away laughing. And costs a fraction of what Intel does. And takes less energy to run. And has better scalability. And has more features. And is more flexible. And has a functional process to build it on. And has a process lead.”

    And a bit of sarcasm:

    “Luckily Intel [has] a plan. That plan doesn’t involve silicon, it involves gathering the press and analysts and lovingly providing FUD before the proverbial excrement hits the rotational parts of the air movement device over the next few quarters. On the silicon side there is absolutely nothing Intel can do to combat AMD, their offerings are not even adequate much less competitive, and priced much higher. Intel knows this.”

    1. But key AMD’s tech is licensed from Intel which would be messy and a diversion so Apple might as well go full bore on its own chips but, of course, using AMD to fill in in its gaps during the interim.

    2. I like that idea. But Apple can design their own chips, so it might be GlobalFoundries that Apple would want to buy. That would minimise risk to Apple if relations with China get nastier. On the other hand, if Apple did buy AMD, it would signal that Apple is going to get serious about pros again. (where they have poor credibility now.) And it would sure be fun watching all the L33T moders reacting to Apple logos stamped on their favorite chips!

      1. Apple doesn’t own foundries for other chips either, not even iPhone factories. Owning the IP is where the added value is.

        Apple could design own X64 CPUs, but would it pay? How much better those would be, and does it make sense when Apple makes only a handful of Macs?

        From MacBook Air to Mac Pro, they’d need a dozen of CPU variants, with low numbers each, while the mobile/wearable chips are produced by tens or hundreds of millions. ROI of R&D is better there.

        Then there’s the opportunity cost. X64 chips are huge, and scaling CPU expertise is far from linear. Developing a new X64 (or,to some extend, ARM for Mac) CPU line would mean less other chips for new innovative products. It makes more sense to create chips for use cases nobody else can do. Even on the PC it makes more sense to develop other chips. Would you trade T2, H1 or U1 chips and the new products/features enabled by those for marginally better old fashioned PC CPU?

        I don’t think so. Apple is not the kind of company that makes faster horses, and that’s what X64 CPU would be.

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