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Apple Inside: New Panic mode - AMD mobile chips this time
  • During spring talks with some people working in Apple I got info about some panic considering flexible screens and that Apple is unable to obtain them on time. And also developers concerns about slow Mac OS X transition on iOS code base by ripping existing features (this year it is all x32 system, QuickTime and few other big parts).

    Situation with flexible screens since this time worsened as BOE seems to have best and cheapest screens, Apple attempt to become good friends by offering them nice terms on usual OLED panels supply for now failed. My source told that managers had been very upset on meeting.

    Mac OS X transition is going faster now, top management now put extreme information blockade on this matter, as they want to do it as surprise with huge marketing force to overcome big initial negative feedback. Rumors are that it'll be most expensive marketing thing from Apple in all of its history.

    Samsung, as usual, fucked to do proper foldable smartphone designs (as they are same as Microsoft - need 3 iteration to make anything useful). But Samsung relations with Apple quickly deteriorating. It is lot of internal talks with attempts to obtain best prices for OLED screens (now they are 2.5x the BOE price and around 350% margin compared to internal cost Samsung obtains by inserting them in their phones). It is big concerns about Samsung screens quality and longevity, as each small brightness bump leads to much quicker issues with OLED pixels. Apple internally discuss even special terms on screen warranty, as it can be that new screens won't hold good past 6 months even (during normal everyday use) and will have non-removable damage.

    Mac OS X team now have special part working on urgent support of new mobile Ryzen chips and optimization of software for 8-16 cores with powerful GPUs. Yet Apple has no agreement to get such chips and no hardware team working on new MacBooks boards. Developers of this group had been told that it can happen that during 2020 their group can become 5x times larger, but it is still not decided. Software management seems to be very worried with Intel mobile chips limits, as it is expected that budget Ryzen notebooks ($600-700) from Lenovo and Dell will match top i9 $3000 MacBooks in general performance. As Apple in 2019 lost some of hardware developers who now work in Taiwanese firms on HP, Lenovo and Dell designs it is not good sign.

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  • In response to continued strong demand, we have invested record levels of Capex increasing our 14nm wafer capacity this year while also ramping 10nm production. In addition to expanding Intel’s own manufacturing capability, we are increasing our use of foundries to enable Intel’s differentiated manufacturing to produce more Intel CPU products.

    The added capacity allowed us to increase our second-half PC CPU supply by double digits compared with the first half of this year. However, sustained market growth in 2019 has outpaced our efforts and exceeded third-party forecasts. Supply remains extremely tight in our PC business where we are operating with limited inventory buffers. This makes us less able to absorb the impact of any production variability, which we have experienced in the quarter. This has resulted in the shipment delays you are experiencing, which we appreciate is creating significant challenges for your business. Because the impact and revised shipment schedules vary, Intel representatives are reaching out with additional information and to answer your questions.

    Letter From Intel.

    Inside Apple things changed since last talk. Software Mac OS X team now expect changes to happen much more quickly, as decision to make hardware prototypes and full blown support for mobile AMD CPUs based on Zen 2 architecture (in reality Apple can start from Zen 3!) can happen very soon - even before January.

    Apple does not have CPU availability issues for now, but it is very worried, as Intel seems to focus on datacenter and servers now and can cut production in 2020 (to free factories) of many outdated 2-4 core mobile chips used in most MacBooks in . So big injections expected in their own ARM based CPUs team and forming of new hardware small team for AMD chips as intermediate solution. Software guys are also a bit worried, as no one of them knows ARM new chips true performance, and it can be as low as present 6 core Intel mobile chips (for 8-12 core ARM chips variant).

    Since January Apple will also have special tracking team looking on behavior of software developers, as bad signs started to show up with many smaller developers abandoning iOS apps. If this will turn into trend during 2020 it can be disaster for iPhone sales. So, we can expect forming of special fund ala Huawei to sponsor some developers to stay on iOS.

  • Just to outline situation


    Number of planned foldable smartphones in 2020 - more then 10.

    Samsung prices will drop to $800-1000 and will slide to $600 till year end.

    Huawei and Xiaomi will use their own 5G processors and BOE screens with prices starting at $500 for foldable phone with 5 cameras (one 108Mp).

    Apple will have same bad camera sensors, Samsung usual AMOLED panel, 3 cameras, 5G will be option of one model only (for now it is the plan).

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  • When will Intel become competitive in laptops after Renoir? What about Zen 4?

    In laptops, Renoir will do to them what they did in desktop: destroy them in the marketplace.

    Intel will have no response until Tiger Lake at the end of 2020

    That has a good chance, but yields may well be so low that it doesn't matter.

    The laptop market is most vulnerable to slush funds and underhanded games.

    From SemiAccurate guy info.

  • Recently discovered references to AMD CPUs within the code of the latest macOS Catalina betas suggest Apple may be testing the chipmaker's processors to see how they work with its Mac computers. A Reddit and Twitter user named "_rogame" spotted the code snippets, which reference several different AMD processors. For instance, one codename that has come up is "Renoir," which correlates to AMD's new Ryzen 4000-series chips.

    The references have prompted speculation that Apple may release Macs with AMD CPUs. At the moment, however, it's far too early to make that jump.

    Mainstream media picked up old PV info.

  • From recent talk.

    • Apple will have at least some notebooks on Ryzen 4xxx or 5xxx mobile CPUs. 98% probability.
    • Yet custom ARM are still main target and all new models are being developed using them.
    • Main target is to cut most third party applications, so called long tail (special new API and requirements will be added to prevent small teams to port software, in contrast to this Apple will have special agreements and help offered to large software corporations).
    • Third parties will be required to use Apple store with 30-40% cut (discussion is to rise 30% cut to 40 and even 50% now). All applications will be Apple signed and approved. Applications who directly compete with Apple products will be officially not allowed in store, first time in the industry (Apple prepared strong legal team here and intent to change anti monopoly laws).
    • Apple plans to also jump into Adobe like subscription model with ARM iOS like OS and software.
    • Some of services and software won't longer work in offline mode and will cost you money on per minute basis (discussion is to make it down into seconds).
  • This is going to be a nightmare for Avid (protools/media composer), Adobe, and Blackmagic (resolve) no? I really am hoping Apple shoots itself in the foot. Cross platform software is better for me. I am wishing the worst for Apple.

  • @cls105

    I think their current plans is to still have stationary Macs and top of the line notebooks on x86.

    But this will also go to ARM eventually.

    As for cross platform - it is too much money (40% cut) they can get, so hard to stop.

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    First public results in new OS binaries.

    Team that makes AMD based notes is growing.

    It is expected that Apple will start offering some 8-12 core models using AMD 5000 series mobile chips (they are same with desktop APUs). High probability that we'll see special custom 12 and even 16 core mobile chips with 4 channels memory made specially for Apple.

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