Apple has finally removed the last traces of Intel silicon from its Macs.
The tech giant’s decision to sever the key relationship with the manufacturer was announced (opens in new tab) during CEO Tim Cook’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote address in June 2020, and it’s been gradually rolling out the necessary changes every since.
Apple has been using Intel silicon in its processers since 2006 when it moved from PowerPC processors, built by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, to Intel x86 processors.
What was the final piece?
Intel’s JHL8040R Retimer chips, used for USB4 timer functions, were the final remnant according to the Twitter user and semiconductor aficionado SkyJuice (opens in new tab), who apparently had been carefully looking through a teardown (opens in new tab) of an M2 MacBook Air posted by hardware website iFixit.
The new chips carry the codename ‘U09PY3’, and it’s unknown who makes them, though it could well be Apple themselves.
Apple has yet to make a comment on the move, and neither has intel, so we’re somewhat in dark about the motivations behind some of these changes.
Unfortunately for Intel shareholders, it’s not just Apple that is cutting down reliance on Intel hardware.
AMD has also apparently opted not to use any Intel hardware for its line of Rembrandt laptops, instead opting for retimers such as the KB8001 ‘Matterhorn’ from Swiss start-up Kandou.