Intel’s Skylake chips contain so many bugs that they were the deciding factor for Apple to start developing CPUs on its own. That claims an ex-Intel engineer with a lot of experience at the company.
François Piednoël, a veteran at Intel, thinks that the quality of the Intel Skylake chips was the direct reason for Apple to develop chips itself. Piednoël worked for Intel for 20 years before leaving the company in 2017. Last week, Apple announced it switches from Intel x86 chips to proprietary ARM-based designs. The switch includes the entire portfolio and should be completed within two years.
The engineer knows that Apple has been thinking about going to ARM for quite some time. He tells that in one video. The decision only became concrete after the roll-out of the Skylake chips. Skylake had so many bugs on board that Apple lost confidence in Intel. The laptop builder became the primary discoverer of bugs on the platform and ended up finding almost as many problems with the chips as Intel itself. This illustrated that the chip manufacturer’s quality assurance was below par.
Intel’s sixth-generation chips didn’t just cause Apple headaches. Microsoft was also affected by the chip. For example, the stability issues of the first Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 are said to be a direct result of problems with the Skylake CPUs.
It is difficult to say whether Piednoël’s analysis is correct. The reason sounds plausible and the many bugs in Skylake will undoubtedly have played a role. Intel is currently in a difficult period and there are several things that can play a role. Also think of the delayed roll-out of 10 nm CPUs in the manufacturer’s overall processor shortage.