With Intel’s two-year transition to its own silicon complete, Apple has just unveiled all of the M1 family chips on its major Macs. With this, the company is now readying the next wave of computers with the second generation of its processors.
In a new story from the wall street journalthe publication profiles Apple’s Johnny Srouji, a former Intel engineer and IBM executive who led Apple’s semiconductor division to ditch Intel for its own silicon.
After years of stagnant Mac sales and the company even having to publicly apologize for the disappointing reception of the 2013 Mac Pro, Apple finds itself in a very different position thanks to M1 chips on the Mac.
But it’s not overnight that the company is revolutionizing its Macs again. It is 14 years of behind-the-scenes work by Mr Srouji, who the WSJ said had grown the chip team from 45 people to several thousand across the world, including his homeland of Israel.
“What I’ve learned in life: You think about all the things you can control, then you have to be flexible, adaptable and strong enough to navigate when things don’t go your way,” Srouji said. , senior vice president of Apple. hardware technologies, said in a rare interview. “Covid was one for example.”
In the story, the publication interviews Mike Demier, an independent analyst who has followed the semiconductor industry for nearly 50 years:
“It seemed a bit crazy at first that they could actually consider kicking Intel out, but it made it a more dominant platform overall.”
To produce its own silicon, Apple also had to worry about this transition from Intel because in 2006, the company had difficulty switching from the PowerPC.
This transition has resulted in many last-minute revisions to the laptop’s main circuit board, according to a person involved in the effort. “A lot of people were afraid that we had the same problem,” this person said. Mr. Srouji acknowledged that the change in strategy was the subject of heated debate within the company (…) a misstep would be inconvenient and costly.
“First and foremost, if we do this, can we deliver better products? Mr. Srouji spoke about the debate. “That’s question number one. It’s not about the chip. Apple is not a chip company.
At the start of the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal stated that “one of the greatest worries came from the arrival of Covid-19, which threatened to derail years of preparation before the debut of the M1 chips at the fall 2020”. Since that wasn’t an option, Srouji worked to design a new on-the-fly testing process.
The team installed cameras in all labs so engineers could inspect the chips remotely, people familiar with the work said. It was the kind of change that would have been hard to imagine coming from Apple, where secrecy and control are paramount.
In part, the operation was able to pivot so seamlessly because Mr. Srouji’s team is spread across the globe, already used to doing business through video calls and working across multiple time zones so that she coordinated work in remote locations such as San Diego and Munich, Germany.
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