We have been hearing for years that Apple is looking to develop its own chipsets to be used on its Mac computers, and at WWDC 2020, the company confirmed it where they are expected to fully transition their Mac computers to their own custom chipsets over the course of the next two years.
However, what prompted Apple to make the shift? Why now? Why not sooner? Why not later? According to former Intel principal engineer, François Piednoël, it seems that the tipping point could have been Intel’s Skylake processors. The former Intel engineer revealed during the Xplane chat and stream session that there were various QA issues with Skylake that he believes could have resulted in Apple finally moving forwards with its own chipsets.
According to Piednoël, “The quality assurance of Skylake was more than a problem. It was abnormally bad. We were getting way too much citing for little things inside Skylake. Basically our buddies at Apple became the number one filer of problems in the architecture. And that went really, really bad. When your customer starts finding almost as much bugs as you found yourself, you’re not leading into the right place.”
There are of course many other reasons why Apple made the switch. The ability to control their own hardware instead of having to rely on others is probably a big reason. Also, it does not put Apple at the mercy of others, like when Intel was facing delays which could have affected Apple’s timeline in terms of product launches.
Of course, this is just the opinion of one former Intel engineer and it might not be 100% accurate, so take it with a grain of salt for now.