Intel versus Apple Silicon battle alive despite M3 chips, claims CEO

Hopes of an Intel versus Apple Silicon battle are still alive, claims the US chipmaker’s chief exec – despite the Cupertino company having raised the bar yet again, with the M3 series.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said that the company is on track to deliver ten years’ worth of chip development in just four years …


Intel’s slow pace of chip development is believed to be one of the biggest reasons behind Apple’s decision to dump the US chipmaker in favor of its own ARM-based chip designs. But while the writing had been on the wall for literally years, Intel still seemed unsure how to respond.

The company dismissively described Apple as ‘a lifestyle brand’; it mocked Apple in multiple ad campaigns; it decided it would make ARM chips; it said it could overtake Apple Silicon (a claim which lasted all of one day); then it said it could win back Apple business.

Every time Intel had a target in sight, however, Apple raised the bar – first with the M1 Pro, Max, and Ultra; then with the M2 line-up; and now the M3, Pro, and Max.

Intel versus Apple Silicon battle still alive

But Gelsinger maintains that the company hasn’t given up its hopes of catching up. Normally, upgrading to a new node (smaller process) would take two years, so the five generations of node the company has on its roadmap would take the company ten years. However, the CEO claims the company is on track to achieve this in just four years.

Nikkei Asia reports.

Speaking at Intel Innovation Day in Taipei, Gelsinger said the company’s most advanced chip design, the 18A, will move into the test production phase by the first quarter of 2024 […]

Gelsinger said his company has been aggressively pursuing its “five nodes in four years” plan since he returned to the company in 2021 […] “Well, here we are,” Gelsinger said. “Two and a half years into that journey and guess what? It’s happening, we are on track to deliver five nodes in four years.”

Intel’s road map calls for pushing forward chip production technologies from Intel 7 and Intel 4 to Intel 3, Intel 20A and Intel 18A.

One key reason for the performance of Apple Silicon is what’s known as the packaging process: combining CPU, GPU, and memory into a single unit. Intel is now adopting the same approach, with Gelsinger claiming to catch up with Apple by next year.

The founder of Apple chipmaker TSMC is unconvinced. Morris Chang said that Intel won’t catch up, and will remain “a shadow of TSMC.”

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