Intel is making 28W Ice Lake chips exclusive to Apple's MacBook Pro

nanoguy

Posts: 495   +7
Staff member

Widespread reports indicate that Apple has been working on ARM-based CPUs for its Macs for years now, presumably to reduce its dependence on Intel chips that don't seem to get a lot faster with every new generation.

However, that doesn't mean its relationship with Intel is suffering, and in fact it looks like it might be getting stronger. As spotted by the folks over at Notebookcheck, some chips from Intel's 10th-gen Ice Lake lineup have been marked as exclusive for Apple products.

Take the Core i7-1068G7, which is supposed to be the most powerful part in the whole lineup. Recently, Intel quietly removed the chip from their online database and added the Core i7-1068NG7. To further complicate things, the silicon giant did the same thing with the Core i5-1038G7, which has been superseded by the i5-1038NG7.

Apparently, the 'N' in the name designates these as Apple exclusive chips that will only go inside the company's new 13-inch MacBook Pro that comes with an improved keyboard and was launched earlier this month. The parts are rated for a TDP of 28 W, while the rest of the Ice Lake-U chips that go inside most laptops are rated for a TDP of 15 W and configurable for up to 25 W.

The same applies to the latest MacBook Air, which is powered by a 10 W Core i7-1060NG7 and Core i5-1030NG7, while other laptops will feature 9 W parts from the Ice Lake Y lineup. What Apple gets with the 'N' versions of the chips is a smaller package size, higher base frequency, and 50 percent more execution units on the integrated Iris Plus Graphics.

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candle_86

Posts: 314   +249
So Intel wants to loose the mobile market to and, they no interest in remaining competitive where it actually matters, well good for them, I hope apple alone can keep them afloat, but then again apple makes up what 3-5% of new computer sales, I think this won't sit well with Dell and hp and those two sell more systems in a month than apple does in a year.
 
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GregonMaui

Posts: 209   +80
So Intel wants to loose the mobile market to and, they no interest in remaining competitive where it actually matters, well good for them, I hope apple alone can keep them afloat, but then again apple makes up what 3-5% of new computer sales, I think this won't sit well with Dell and hp and those two sell more systems in a month than apple does in a year.
What? That literally makes no sense. Intel makes a lot of chips, as you can tell in the article, Apple apparently is using certain chips that no one else either wanted or failed to put in any products, instead they bought other chips. So your point is that everyone should make design choices following apple and if they don't they are at fault?

Maybe you can help explain. 1) lots of different chip models, lots of price points, 2) Apple chose to use certain chips, others selected other chips, 3) intel is stupid because Apple has a small market share of total computer shipments
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,406   +1,379
TechSpot Elite
This has nothing to do with Intel remaining competitive or not, which is an opinion that comes from ignorance. Instead it has everything to do with demand for this specific class of CPU.

This 28W top-end U-series part with Intel's best iGPU only shows up in 2-3 systems each generation since Broadwell. That's 5 years running now. The systems:

Apple 13" MacBook Pro
Intel NUC

The occasional 3rd has been sometimes a Surface, sometimes a Lenovo. Nobody else wants these CPUs. And this year Intel chose different CPUs for their main line of NUCs, opting, like Apple with their Mac Mini, to go for 6 cores+low end iGPU instead of 4 cores+high end iGPU.

Which leaves a single customer for this specific CPU: Apple for their 13" MacBook Pro.
 
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candle_86

Posts: 314   +249
This has nothing to do with Intel remaining competitive or not, which is an opinion that comes from ignorance. Instead it has everything to do with demand for this specific class of CPU.

This 28W top-end U-series part with Intel's best iGPU only shows up in 2-3 systems each generation since Broadwell. That's 5 years running now. The systems:

Apple 13" MacBook Pro
Intel NUC

The occasional 3rd has been sometimes a Surface, sometimes a Lenovo. Nobody else wants these CPUs. And this year Intel chose different CPUs for their main line of NUCs, opting, like Apple with their Mac Mini, to go for 6 cores+low end iGPU instead of 4 cores+high end iGPU.

Which leaves a single customer for this specific CPU: Apple for their 13" MacBook Pro.
I'd imagine that is changing with amd back as top dog, Intel needs the chips that can actually compete with ryzen mobile to be in these laptops, the oems will want them because their competitor is selling the faster ryzen and they want to compete. Intel restricting them when they are actually needed is down right stupid.
 
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Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,406   +1,379
TechSpot Elite
This top end Ice Lake chip does not compete with Ryzen as it's only quad core and $426 (!). Utterly non-competitive with AMD's 6c12t or 8c16t models, except for the iGPU. And that same iGPU is still available in 4 other Ice Lake models, available for as little as $320. 🙄

These are not the chips Intel can use to compete with AMD, they need something else.