Did Apple pulled one on Intel?


Those who read the roadmaps diagonally didn’t understand what happened when the desktop version of Meteor Lake (aka the 14th gen) started to cough. A version postponed, then replaced by a refresh of Raptor Lake and then only reserved for laptops. In short, many of us thought that an episode was missing from this story. The truth could be elsewhere, since it could be that Apple, with the complicity of TSMC (or vice versa) is behind this surprising change of foot of the blue. To make a long story short, if the rumors are confirmed, Intel just got royally “F”ed by Apple and TSMC.

Apple reportedly dangles a carrot at Intel

Apple ignores the crisis and pushes Intel out

So what happened that Meteor Lake S, the “performance” version for desktop PCs, was cancelled after the design was completed? That’s where the Taiwanese foundry comes in. If a large part of Meteor Lake is to be produced with Intel’s N4 process, the use of TSMC and its 3nm process was planned to manufacture the tGPU. While the market was tense, TSMC stopped nearly 30% of its production capacity and Intel thought it could take advantage of the situation by negotiating prices. But against all odds Apple has committed to the entire production capacity of TSMC’s N3 for the manufacture of A17 Bionic and M3 chips. To put it simply, Apple has locked in 100% of the 3nm chips for 2023, pushing Intel out and with no turnaround capability.

carotte à Intel
If Intel doesn’t activate an emergency Plan B, Apple’s carrot is going to be hard to digest

A very uncomfortable position for Intel

This situation could have serious consequences for Intel, which seems to be able to regain volumes at the Taiwanese only for the end of 2024 … The immediate consequence is the arrival of Meteor Lake only for laptops (without recourse to 3nm) and the more or less artificial extension of the life of Raptor Lake for all 2023. But the problem could take another dimension in 2024 when AMD intends to arrive with Zen 5, questioning the lead taken with the 12th and 13th generation. The hope would be to count on an anticipated arrival of Lunar Lake with the use of an external process other than 3nm…