Gelsinger: Intel wants to get Apple's business back by outcompeting it

nanoguy

Posts: 1,021   +14
Staff member
In brief: The Pat Gelsinger-powered Intel is now willing to admit that it failed to deliver x86 chips on the level of Apple Silicon, which is why the latter company is now in the process of transitioning its entire Mac product line to custom Arm-based chipsets that are as powerful as some desktop CPUs while needing much less power to operate.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is widely expected to turn the company into the leader of process and packaging technology by 2025. To that end, Intel has started expanding its chip manufacturing capacity and created a new division in the form of Intel Foundry Services, which will take on contract manufacturing for companies like Qualcomm and Amazon, as well as government clients like the US Department of Defense.

At the same time, the company is scrambling to make its processors more attractive to both consumers and enterprise customers, after losing some market share as well as mindshare to AMD and a number of startups creating Arm-based processors.

Recently, Gelsinger claimed that Intel is back with a vengeance, and that AMD’s lead in the x86 CPU space would soon come to an end. Team Blue also has big plans for the GPU market, and the new CEO is convinced there is an unmet need for alternative GPUs alongside those made by Nvidia and AMD.

Last time Intel tried to make a graphics card, things didn’t go so well, but at least on paper the Xe-HPG (aka Alchemist) architecture looks impressive. All it needs is to come to market sooner rather than later, as the window of opportunity is shrinking. Then there’s the issue of manufacturing volume, as Intel has chosen to outsource Alchemist GPU production to TSMC.

Beyond these promises, Intel is finally willing to admit that losing Apple as a customer is something the company wanted to prevent but couldn’t because the latter “decided they could do a better chip themselves than we could.” Just as Apple reveals a new MacBook Pro lineup powered by custom Arm-based silicon, Gelsinger says Intel hopes it can mend its relationship with the Cupertino giant. He does, however, admit that it will take a lot of effort to come up with a better chip, and that this will be a gradual, multi-year process. For now, Apple is slowly breaking up with Intel after using its processors across the entire Mac product line for almost two decades.

Some of you may recall the poorly received ad campaign where Intel hired former “PC vs Mac” ad actor Justin Long to criticize the lack of diversity in Apple’s MacBook line, or the attempts to discredit the notion that the Cupertino company had managed to come up with a chipset every bit as powerful as a desktop CPU while staying cooler and conserving battery life. Earlier this month, it even conducted a so-called “social experiment” where it sought to prove that Apple fans are somehow ignorant of what a PC could do for them when compared to a Mac, while completely ignoring the software side of things.

Gelsinger’s strategy of earning back Apple’s trust in its abilities will be to outcompete the latter and demonstrate that developers and consumers are still drawn to its x86 offerings. During an interview with Axios, he pointed out that Intel is already executing on that idea with things like the partnership with Microsoft where it’s working to bring Android apps to Windows 11.

Overall, it looks like the Pat Gelsinger-powered Intel is willing to take a hard look into the mirror and find the things that led it to the current state. Whether or not the company can use that to change its culture and reinvent itself, only time will tell.

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zaku49

Posts: 38   +43
Intel has fallen too far behind now to match Apple's CPU, I cannot see Apple changing back to Intel unless something happens to TSMC.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,467   +6,265
There is no competition with Apple.

apple makes a product above and beyond the other possible competitors and has an ecosystem with a loyal subscriber base.

There's no competition with that at all.

and now they are ensuring they dominate supply chains by manufacturing as many of their own parts as possible....
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,337   +2,625
Intel has fallen too far behind now to match Apple's CPU, I cannot see Apple changing back to Intel unless something happens to TSMC.

Remember the news about the preferential priority Apple gets with TSMC? There has to be another side of the coin to that and it's probably Apple investing *heavily* into expanding R&D and fabs for them.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,615   +3,224
TechSpot Elite
That ship sailed the second Apple decided that it could make it's own silicon.
They would have to pretty much fall from grace to ever consider losing that control.

At most, maybe they'll buy fab production (if Intel can compete there).
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,483   +2,120
That ship sailed the second Apple decided that it could make it's own silicon.
They would have to pretty much fall from grace to ever consider losing that control.

At most, maybe they'll buy fab production (if Intel can compete there).
Yup now that apple has jumped ship and doing their own thing it will be near impossible to get them back. And why would you go back apple now has full control over that product stack.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 316   +402
Remember the news about the preferential priority Apple gets with TSMC? There has to be another side of the coin to that and it's probably Apple investing *heavily* into expanding R&D and fabs for them.
In addition to investment in R&D Apple moves quickly enough and has sufficient demand that they can provide significant load for each cutting edge node from TSMC, which TSMC then have a year or so shop around to other customers like AMD who are happy to be a node behind.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,337   +2,625
In addition to investment in R&D Apple moves quickly enough and has sufficient demand that they can provide significant load for each cutting edge node from TSMC, which TSMC then have a year or so shop around to other customers like AMD who are happy to be a node behind.
Good points all around: by bringing ARM architecture to all the line up they're taking advantage of the mobile market that is way faster moving than what either AMD or intel are doing today.

So if intel thinks they can compete with TSMC and Samsung that are also indirectly financing the mobile processor market well, sorry but it's unlikely that the same company that has turned back into puffing tons of heats for not a lot of performance for so many consecutive years as of late will be able to hang out with Qualcomm, Samsung and Apple when it comes to performance-per-watt numbers it's just not going to happen.
 

BadThad

Posts: 737   +833
Intel is a long way from that. The ARM designs are strong and good enough for most consumers.
 

Lounds

Posts: 964   +865
This is what you get for selling Quad cores and Dual core CPU's for years. You shouldn't wait around for your competitors to innovate. This is why Nvidia dominates the Graphics card market because it's always innovating.
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 87   +69
I doubt Apple is crawling back to x86 anytime soon, the most Intel can hope for is Apple using their fabs for their own ARM designs in the future
 

Irata

Posts: 1,811   +3,051
He pointed out that Intel is already executing on that idea with things like the partnership with Microsoft

So are they suggesting Apple gimp their own CPU via poor OS optimization to make Intel CPU look better ? Sounds like a solid plan.

On a more serious note: Apple compared their new M1 models to Tiger Lake to show how much better M1 is and they didn‘t pick TGL because it‘s the best X86 has to offer in terms of low power performance but rather because it‘s the comparison that looks most favorable to them….should say enough.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 326   +580
I applaud his ambition to get Intel back to being second to none.

I think there are reasons why Apple is a lost cause. But by all means shoot for the moon.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 385   +355
With the release of the M1 Pro and Max, Intel has fallen quite a fair bit behind when it comes to performance vs power efficiency. With Intel losing the edge when it comes to cutting edge fab, I don't think they can easily turn around, much less try and win Apple back by producing something better. Intel is basically trying to catch up in terms of performance, but relaxing the power requirements. Taking the Tiger Lake U vs M1 as comparison, the former consumes a lot more power, especially when you need a high end range to close in the M1 in terms of performance.
 

whateversa

Posts: 57   +65
" the poorly received ad campaign where Intel hired "

Poorly received? Where does that come from? I thought it was a very valid ad. Anyone (apple) can make something with specific strengths and weaknesses, and then just market those strengths with a narrative to look superior... Bit if Intel does it, it is somehow poorly received?