n former Intel engineer believes that Apple has decided to switch processor suppliers due to the unusually high number of bugs in the Intel chip maker’s Skylake processors that powered the Macs on the market between 2015 and 2017.
The statement was made by François Piednoel, now a senior architect at Mercedes-Benz. Although this is only the opinion of a former Intel engineer, Piednoel worked at Intel and was one of the main architects of its processors. He left the company in 2017.
At WWDC last week, Apple confirmed the move to Arm for its future Macs, but Piednoel points out that the case of failing Skylake Core processors is the key event that pushed Apple away from Intel. “Skylake’s quality assurance was unusually poor,” Piednoel said on video.
“”When your client starts to find almost as many bugs as you’ve found yourself, you’re not well””
Apple quickly became the first to report various architectural problems to us. And it really, really went wrong. When your client starts to find almost as many bugs as you’ve found yourself, you’re not well.” “For me, this is the inflection point. That’s when the Apple guys, who had always been thinking about changing, went to (their direction) and said, “We have to do it.”
“Fundamentally, Skylake’s poor quality assurance is responsible for forcing them to leave the platform. I think I witnessed this inflection about three years ago, when they said, “Yes, it’s time to do it.”
This move will take two and the first Macs on Arm will be available by the end of the year. Apple will continue to support Intel-based Macs in the near future.
Microsoft also put in trouble because of Skylake
Apple wasn’t the only company to have trouble with Intel’s Skylake. Thurrott points out that the 6th generation Intel chips were at least partly responsible for the reliability problems of the first generation of Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.
Microsoft faced a public relations disaster in 2016 when NFL Patriots coach Bill Belichick destroyed his Surface during a game. He said outages on the tablet were common. It’s not necessarily Intel’s fault, nothing is proven, but Microsoft was promoting Surface Pro 4 to the NFL in 2016.