Former Intel engineer blames Skylake for transitioning apples away from Intel

Illustration for article titled Former Intel Engineer Says Skylake's Quality Assurance Was the Reason for Transition from Big Apple CPU

Photo: Intel

Earlier this week, after years of rumors, Apple finally announced its third major CPU transition for Mac Moving away from Intel to custom designed Apple processors. But now that the dust has settled, many people ask why.

On a broader level, the reasons are clear: it’s not just switching to custom CPUs which are designed internally, it gives Apple more control over the specs and features included in the chips that power its computers, by eliminating another third-party vendor, it also means Apple will take home more of the sales revenue. However, those justifications sound as true today as they would five, 10 or 15 years ago, was there a more specific moment that really pushed Apple to part with Intel?

Well, according to former Intel chief engineer François Piednoël, it appears that Intel’s Skylake line of processors is to blame. Marketed on Intel’s line of 6th generation Core processors, in a recent video posted on YouTubePiednoël says the quality assurance for Intel’s Skylake processors was “more than a problem, it was abnormally bad.”

Piednoël went on to say, “Basically, our friends at Apple became the number one archiver of problems in architecture,” before adding, “When your client starts encountering almost as many bugs as you are, you’re not driving to the right place.” “

So while there was always a certain crowd within Apple pressing for Apple to make its own chips for the brand, it apparently wasn’t until after Apple faced countless issues with Intel’s Skylake processors that the company began making serious plans to develop and transition to custom design CPUs.

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“For me, this is the turning point. This is where the Apple guys who were always contemplating change came and looked at it and said, ‘Well, we probably have to.’ “

Piednoël concluded by saying: “Basically, Skylake’s poor quality assurance is responsible for [Apple] to force themselves to leave [Intel’s] platform. Yes [Apple] didn’t have this reason why they actually doubted that this could be delivered, [Apple] it would have continued without problems. “

As for the cause of Skylake’s poor quality assurance, Piednoël attributes it to a shake-up in leadership and general mismanagement that led to critical engineers leaving the team and poor planning during that period.

While Piednoël’s account sounds incredibly damning, one of the main reasons he shared his story is that he believes Intel is still a great company and that shareholders need to know what happened in order for the company to learn and avoid mistakes like this. in the future. And with Apple planning to completely walk away from Intel in the next two years and have AMD take Intel’s neck off, Intel could probably use some good advice.