The news: Intel recently hired Apple’s director of Mac System Architecture, Jeff Wilcox, who will now serve as an Intel Fellow and the new chief technology officer of the design engineering group.
Why this matters: Wilcox is part of the group credited with transitioning Apple’s computers away from Intel and into Apple Silicon M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Systems-on-a-Chip, per 9to5Mac.
- Prior to taking his fellowship at Intel, Wilcox spent the past eight years working on Apple's Mac system architecture. His LinkedIn profile notes that he “led the transition for all Macs to Apple Silicon,” namely the M1 SoC and the T2 security chip.
- Intel seems to have Apple in its sights. The company recently unveiled a new 12th-generation Core i9 mobile processor, which it claims is faster than Apple’s M1 Max chip.
Apple only accounted for about 2% to 3% of Intel’s business before the transition, per UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri, but it seems that the transition to Apple Silicon was a bitter pill for Intel to swallow.
The big takeaway: Bespoke chips like Apple Silicon are spurring more competition in PC and laptop processors, which means wider choice for consumers looking for faster processors that are also power efficient.
- Apple still has the advantage in that it designs the SoC’s to work on its own hardware, operating system, and applications, which means it can fine-tune its silicon for optimum performance gains.
- Apple has led the industry in transitioning away from Intel processors, mostly because of Intel’s delays in providing faster, more efficient, and smaller nanometer chips. Some PC vendors like Lenovo and HP are increasingly offering more AMD-powered devices as options.