Incoming CEO of Intel: We have to be better than ‘lifestyle company’ Apple at making CPUs

Intel’s new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who doesn’t start his new role until February, is already trying to rally the stagnant maker of hot, slow x86 chips after being thoroughly embarrassed by Apple’s first-generation M1 chips.

Intel snail

Tom Warren for The Verge:

The Oregonian, a local newspaper in Oregon where Intel maintains a large presence, reports that the chip maker held an all-hands company meeting yesterday, and Gelsinger attended.

“We have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino” makes, Gelsinger reportedly told Intel employees. “We have to be that good, in the future.”

Apple announced its transition to its own silicon back in June, calling it a “historic day for the Mac.” The transition has gone well, with M1-based Macs providing impressive performance and battery life compared to existing Intel-based Macs.

Gelsinger now faces the reality of competing with Apple, AMD, and others after Intel has struggled to transition to a 10nm manufacturing process for years. Intel has also delayed its 7nm chips until at least 2022, and the company now faces a tough decision whether to outsource chip fabrication.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s good to have goals. Of course, Intel has had many goals over many years, and repeatedly failed to hit them while delivering increasingly disappointing products.

If Intel were actually any good a making chips, they wouldn’t have been deposited into the dumpster by a “lifestyle company” whose very first crack at a personal computer chip runs rings around Intel’s outmoded, antiquated, ever-simmering, fan-triggering, power-sucking snails.

See also: M1 benchmarks prove Apple Silicon outclasses nearly all Intel Macs — January 13, 2021

Good luck in your new position, Pat. You’re going to need it.

22 Comments

  1. There are two points which Gelsinger overlooks at his peril.

    One is that a “lifestyle company” sells products in massive bulk. iPhones are predicted to be selling at unprecedented levels and when you design silicon, your development costs get averaged over the number you sell. Sell more and each one becomes a bit cheaper.

    The second point is that Apple is a product company. They don’t make components for other people. They design components to sell in their own products, When they design silicon, they are designing for their exact needs, not some generic version which might be of use to a number of manufacturers. But more than that, Apple write their own software too and takes into account those needs when designing their processors. They are currently working on chips which will exploit operating features of the future and hardware systems of the future. The Intel approach doesn’t allow that level of joined up design.

    The combination of reduced item costs, increased performance and superior integration is going to give Apple a tremendous advantage.Intel needs to worry that the “lifestyle company” doesn’t make Intel a “deadwood company”.

      1. Well then it’ll be easy for the PC industry to catch up to Apple and create chips that don’t lag behind… bwah ha haaa haa ha ha haaa ha haa haa haa haa ah ah ah haaaa haaaa! Thanks for the laugh. Good times.

          1. Man you’re dense. If your argument made any sense Apple never would have beaten the PC industry in the first place. It wouldn’t be possible because the PC industry has even more scale and resources than Apple.

  2. Based on my reading, Intel has been overly-relaxed about preventing competing chip designers and producers from overtaking it, and so rapidly too, depending on its remaining dominant in the future based on past dominance, as well as publicly poo pooing the value of making CPUs for mobile devices which, really, was hard to believe considering its access to vast amts. of predictive, conventional (e.g., NSA style) and unconventional (e.g., Far Sight remote viewing, Col. Ed Dames’ remote viewing) intelligence gathering and analytical ability (e.g., Booz Allen Hamilton Holdings of patriot Edward Snowden fame).

  3. I’m impressed with Pat Gelsinger. Quite frankly I think he is the first Intel leader to understand the market since 2010.

    First step in recovery is to admit to an issue. He is not sugar coating the fact that Intel is no longer a leader like the rest of the Intel employees.

    Second step is to focus on a clear goal. He clearly is focusing on Apple silicon from the start.

    So far so good. Now lets see if he can recruit the right employees to get Intel’s manufacturing issues straightened out. As Steve Jobs said – real artists ship.

    Competition is good for both Apple and the industry. Interesting times ahead!

  4. Intel moves yet another former VP into the CEO position… Sorry, but all Intel has done over the past 20 years is re-arrange it’s deck chairs on the Titanic. The iceberg is Apple, and while Intel won’t plummet to the bottom of the Atlantic, it’s highly likely to be towed into dry dock and refitted, taking a decade or so to accomplish.

    Intel has the size to move to ARM, and they will move to that architecture, perhaps building their own stack from the ground up, and building around that all-new ARM-based platform.

    However, Apple’s likely very, very, close to not needing ARM even for the sub-architecture of transistor layout. If Apple is close to completing that task, it’s questionable at that point if Apple even needs to license any technology from ARM and will scream further north in a hurry.

    Intel? As long as Apple doesn’t start gobbling up PC business, or enter the server industry, they should be relatively safe in their own Windows bubble – for a while.

    It’s the nibbling around the edges that will continue to greatly damage the company:

    – Missed the mobile revolution (rejected it actually – way to NOT take on the iPhone program)
    – Has let AMD revive itself over and over again, due in large part, to their arrogance. AMD now a huge problem.
    – Apple moving to their own designs, with their base M1 processor embarrassing Intel from the low-end, to mid-range and challenging the best they’ve got. M1x (or z) along with M2 designs and beyond, like to complete destroy x86 future altogether, leaving Intel absolutely scrambling to keep pace as investors will flee.
    – Gaming. If Apple launches a high-end Apple TV replete with pretty high-end gaming, Nintendo and the base gaming system from Microsoft and Sony might see some nibbles. Right now, in 6-7 years, the next generation gaming systems are not likely to be developed on Intel’s silicon…
    – Delays. Intel is a huge sloth-like company that’s been delivering delays for nearly a decade now, repeatedly and consistently so. Don’t see a new CEO changing any of that culture. Heads need to roll in large volume, and they need to become lean and retool. They won’t do it and the culture of middle-management will continue.

    1. I agree with most of your points, but wonder whether the reason Apple now needs ARM is for licensing reasons? It’s probably cheaper to pay royalties than to fight against them and produce your own royalty free product.

      Having said that, I think Apple does have the know how to go it alone and wouldn’t be too surprised if they develop their own unique architecture one day. Apple are probably better placed to do that than any other company is.

  5. Although Steve Jobs said you can “only connect the dots going backwards” Intel, being in the chip business should have seen this coming. Their miscalculation is on par with Palm, Nokia, and Blackberry not believing that a computer company can’t produce a phone. More roadkill under Apple’s wheels…

  6. I have delisted Apple as a supplier of any of my computer needs (though I love their products) until they stop violating my Terms of Acceptance. Their “violations” have become very egregious and more frequent in the past two weeks, so for each week the violations continue, I will extend the delist of Apple purchases an additional 60 days. I won’t tolerate a company that violates my Terms of Acceptance. I recommend everyone else who values tolerance and liberty and America do the same.

    1. “ I have delisted Apple as a supplier of any of my computer needs”…
      “ , I will extend the delist of Apple purchases an additional 60 days. I won’t tolerate a company that violates my Terms of Acceptance. I recommend everyone else who values tolerance and liberty and America do the same.”

      Which makes you just a troll.

      Yeah…I’ll bet Apple is just quaking at your delist lol

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