Apple has fulfilled its own flag, replacing Intel processors with self-developed M1 chips

This fall, Apple finally fulfilled its own flag, replacing the previous Intel processor with its self-developed M1 chip. While many were initially skeptical of Apple’s chip transition, the final product was a surprise. No, even Qualcomm, which once went to court with Apple over patent licensing issues, is now greatly appreciated.

According to foreign media reports, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon (Cristiano Amon) said in an interview with the media that the success of the M1 chip “confirmed” Qualcomm’s thinking about the future of computing. “We are very pleased with the release of the M1, while paying tribute to Apple as it demonstrates our belief that mobile users are defining their expectations of the PC experience.”

At the same time, Amon emphasized that Apple’s transition to ARM chips will help promote the development of the entire industry. Notably, Qualcomm has just released its latest flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888.

“When Apple joins the circle, you will find that the ecology is changing. For example, I believe that this week, the week before Adobe releases new applications, these applications are ARM-native. Once these applications become ARM-native application, it will have higher performance and better compatibility.” Amon said that overall this is a very good signal. The ecosystem will change, which also proves that Microsoft and Qualcomm are on the right path. It’s about battery life, network connectivity, and a multimedia experience like no other.

Apple has fulfilled its own flag, replacing Intel processors with self-developed M1 chips

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In the interview, Amon also talked about the future of 5G, and his views are very optimistic. However, Apple, which is “preparing for danger in times of peace”, may not think so.

According to Bloomberg’s report on December 11, Johny Srouji, senior vice president of Apple’s hardware technology division, revealed in a meeting with employees that the company’s second chip transition is also in the early stages, and has already begun development this year. Modems for cellular networks are out to replace Qualcomm’s comparable chips. However, he did not disclose when Apple’s self-developed baseband chips will be shipped.

(Screenshot of related reports)

Seeing this, some people may ask: Qualcomm’s baseband is okay, why did Apple give up Qualcomm?

In fact, there are many problems here. On the one hand, the licensing of Qualcomm’s patents to Apple will bring a huge cost burden; on the other hand, Apple has been somewhat dissatisfied with the 5G millimeter-wave antenna template provided by Qualcomm before, because Apple feels that , Qualcomm’s design caused the iPhone 12 to have heat dissipation problems, and the Qualcomm baseband and A14 did not seem to be running smoothly, and the mobile phone signal was not as good as expected.

It is reported that a cellular modem (baseband) is one of the most critical components of a smartphone. Phone calls, text messages, and connections to the Internet all rely on baseband chips. Although Apple has powerful A-series mobile processors, it has never had its own baseband chips. For a long time, Apple has relied on the supply of chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm and Intel in the field of baseband chips, and has to pay high fees for this every year.

According to foreign media statistics, in Qualcomm’s total revenue, orders from Apple account for about 11%; while Apple’s orders account for about 7% of Intel’s total sales. The scarcity of suppliers makes it easy for Apple to fall into a “passive state”. Therefore, for Apple, in order to ensure more room for innovation in technology in the future, self-developed baseband chips are very critical.

Although Apple’s research and development strength should not be underestimated, it is still difficult to use its own baseband products. On the one hand, although Apple has started the process of self-developed chips, there are still technical difficulties and patent barriers to overcome. At present, Apple cannot play as freely in the field of communications as Huawei; on the other hand, Apple and Qualcomm just signed a contract last year. The 2+6-year settlement agreement also means that Qualcomm basebands will still be used on iPhones in the next 7 years.

Author: Yoyokuo