A Look Inside Apple’s Silicon Playbook
The Plain View
This week Apple introduced a new set MacBook Pro laptops. Time to be appointed launch event, Apple engineers and executives clarified that the MVPs of new products are the chips that drive them: the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. With 34 billion and 57 billion transistors, respectively, they are the engine that powers the super hi-res displays on new Mac devices, providing fire power, and extending battery life. Laptops represent the apotheosis of a 14 -year strategy that has transformed the company – literally under the hood of its products – into a major effort to design and make its own chips. Apple has replaced the microprocessors it buys from vendors like Intel and Samsung with its own, optimized for the needs of Apple users. The effort is much better results. Apple was once a company defined by the scheme. Apple’s plan is still critical, but I consider it now a silicon company.
A few days after the keynote, I had an occasional conversation about Apple silicon with senior global marketing VP Greg Joswiak (aka “Joz”), senior engineering VP John Ternus, and senior hardware technology VP Johny Srouji. I asked Apple to let me talk to Srouji for many years. His title only focuses on his status as Apple’s chip czar. Even if he starts showing the camera to the latest Apple events, he generally avoids the main view. An Israeli-born engineer who previously worked at Intel and IBM, Srouji joined Apple in 2008, specifically to fulfill a mandate from Steve Jobs, who felt the original iPhone chips were unattainable. his demands. Srouji’s mission is to lead Apple to make its own silicon. The effort was made so well that I believe Srouji was secretly followed by Jony Ive as the essentially creative wizard who smeared the secret sauce on Apple’s offerings.
Srouji, of course, couldn’t handle that. After all, the playbook for Apple executives is to spend their hyperbole on Macs, iPhones, and iPads, not on their own. “Apple has built the best silicon in the world,” he said. “But I always remember that Apple is first and foremost a product company. If you’re a chip designer, it’s heaven because you’re building silicon for a company that builds products.”
Srouji is clear on the advantages of launching your own chips, as opposed to buying from a vendor like Intel, which used to summarily boot from The MacBook Pros this week are in favor of the M. “If you’re a business owner, a company that delivers off-the-shelf components or silicon to a wide range of customers, you need to know what works best. little common name – what has everyone needed for so many years? ” as he said. “We work as a team – silicon, hardware, software, industry design, and other teams – to create a specific vision. If you translate that into silicon, that will give us a unique opportunity and freedom because now you’re designing something that’s not only truly unique, but optimized for a specific product. ”In the case of the MacBook Pro, he says, he’s sitting down with leaders like Ternus and Craig Federighi many years ago and imagined what would be available to users in 2021. Everything is from silicon. “We sat down together, and said,‘ Okay, is it gated to physics? Or is it something that can be done? are we beyond? ‘And then, if it’s not gated to physics and it’s a matter of time, we’ll know how to do it. “