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Intel CEO Takes Shot at Apple's A7

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments
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Intel’s new CEO Brian Krzanich stood behind his company’s products yesterday when fielding questions from analysts.

Mobile is proving to be pretty big business and with Apple’s latest chip, the A7 already deployed in the latest round of iDevices, Intel will be facing some stiff competition in that space. Even so, Intel’s new CEO Brian Krzanich, stood behind his company’s products yesterday when fielding questions from analysts.

“If you take a look at things like transistor density and you compare, pardon the pun, apples-to-apples and you compare, say, the A7 to our Bay Trail, which is a high density 22 nanometer technology, then our transistor density is higher or more dense than the A7 is.” Krazinich said. ”It's a good product...but we do see the Moore's Law advantage from 28 to 22 nanometer as an example, when you compare dense technologies to dense technologies.”

That may be, but Apple’s A7 chip is the first 64-bit processor in a consumer smart phone, and that’s also an ecosystem where, despite some market share losses to Android, the Cupertino-based tech giant has had little trouble competing. By producing their own silicon instead of buying from one of the other fabs, Apple's been able to tailor their hardware and their software and cut out more than a few middlemen. 

While it's unlikely that the latest line of Intel Atom chips or their low-power Haswell processors will be convincing Apple to convert from producer to consumer anytime soon, the fight is still on for general market share for tablets and Ultrabooks.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    bystander , October 17, 2013 5:09 PM
    Got to love the headline hype only to see mild, level headed responses to their own product.
  • 10 Hide
    none12345 , October 17, 2013 7:24 PM
    "So the question I obviously have to ask is who did apple rip off for the A7...because you know they did..."

    They didnt rip anyone off. They leased the design from ARM. Thats how ARM works, they design a whole range of cpu blocks, and then lease out the design to anyone who wants it.

    Thats why ARM chips are in everything, well everything that doesn't require a beefy cpu. From washing machines to phones.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    bystander , October 17, 2013 5:09 PM
    Got to love the headline hype only to see mild, level headed responses to their own product.
  • Display all 27 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    stevejnb , October 17, 2013 5:19 PM
    "some market share losses to Android"

    Some? Android controls 80% of the smartphone market. MS only has about 10% more of the desktop market and they've been widely dubbed a monopoly for over a decade.

    "Apple's been able to tailor their hardware and their software and cut out more than a few middlemen"

    Yikes, usually one of the biggest advantages of cutting out the middleman is being able to avoid giving said middleman a cut of your profits. I guess they evidently aren't using this cutting-out-the-middleman to end up charging the user less. Then again, Samsung is in the same boat on this...

    As per the article's content, is this a shock? One way or another, Apple is competing. This guy isn't even being all that derogatory, just pointing out some technological advantages his company has over Apple's.
  • -3 Hide
    Memnarchon , October 17, 2013 5:20 PM
    "apples-to-apples" xD
  • -5 Hide
    Mike Palmer , October 17, 2013 5:55 PM
    I thought Samsung was the one making Apple's processors.
  • 5 Hide
    tipoo , October 17, 2013 5:58 PM
    We aren't buying these chips on our own, they come in smartphones that are all pretty much priced the same at the high end. The density doesn't matter to us. What matters is the performance and the power draw, both of which the A7 does surprisingly well in. Intel will need to step up its game here, just being competitive isn't enough to switch manufacturers over, they have to be by and large the performance per watt champion as well as equivalently priced.
  • -1 Hide
    ingtar33 , October 17, 2013 6:48 PM
    chipzilla still can't quite compete with ARM in the mobile cpu market, and it smarts.
  • 3 Hide
    opmopadop , October 17, 2013 7:08 PM
    "By producing their own silicon instead of buying from one of the other fabs"

    I thought Samsung was making the A7 chips?
  • -5 Hide
    cmi86 , October 17, 2013 7:11 PM
    So the question I obviously have to ask is who did apple rip off for the A7...because you know they did...

  • -6 Hide
    cmi86 , October 17, 2013 7:11 PM
    So the question I obviously have to ask is who did apple rip off for the A7...because you know they did...

  • 10 Hide
    none12345 , October 17, 2013 7:24 PM
    "So the question I obviously have to ask is who did apple rip off for the A7...because you know they did..."

    They didnt rip anyone off. They leased the design from ARM. Thats how ARM works, they design a whole range of cpu blocks, and then lease out the design to anyone who wants it.

    Thats why ARM chips are in everything, well everything that doesn't require a beefy cpu. From washing machines to phones.
  • 0 Hide
    darkavenger123 , October 17, 2013 8:14 PM
    Hmm...isn't Samsung, TSMC (or some other Taiwanese fab) making the chips for Apple?? SInce when Apple has their own fab?? I know Apple has a hand in modifying the design, but they don't have the production capability.
  • 5 Hide
    ta152h , October 17, 2013 8:48 PM
    Obviously the author doesn't understand what he's writing about, because Apple does not have fabs, but what he's trying to say is that Apple designs their own processors, rather than buying them off another company.

    It's only a matter of time before they ditch Intel for the MacIntosh, and use their own designs as well. It makes no sense to have different instruction sets on the computers, as it adds more development time, and increases software costs.

    On top of that, Intel charges a pretty penny. With the volumes Apple ships, and the fact they already have to design processors for iOS, the Mac will be heading in that direction as quickly as they can move ARM upstream.
  • 0 Hide
    Lachezar Tsochev , October 18, 2013 12:52 AM
    You guys are morons. Yes, Apple does produce their own designs of their SoCs. Samsung and TSMC are just manufacturers. But the design is Apple's. Sure they took the latest ARM specs, and changed it a bit, everybody does that, and manufactures it. Even the "all-great" Samsung outsources to Qualcom for their Snapdragon chip because their Exynos is crap.

    To the guy with the percents, you are the greatest of greatest morons dude. Windows has monopoly with only 10% market share? Are you serious here ? You should stop making an idiot if yourself. MOST desktop PCs are in fact running Windows OS ranging from XP to 8.1 ....

    And, first of all Android is not at 80% market share, its on 60 but i see what you did there. Also the market share of android means absolutely nothing. The market share is not so high because people like android, it's because android is put on every 50$ "smartphone", there are not much options at this class. There are not as much high-end android devices. They are getting stomped by the iPhone and the iPad....get your shit straight before making ridicilous comments

    The only android manufacturer that is doing good is Samsung and that is only because they have models in every price range

    Butthurt much fandroids?
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , October 18, 2013 1:40 AM
    @Author: Apple doesn't make its own silicon, it simply makes the designs. Still fabbed by Samsung iirc.

    And honestly, if anyone can comment on a competitor's CPU design or implementation, it's Intel...they've earned the right to.

    That said, we'll have to wait for Merrifield to see how Silvermont compares against Cyclone.

    @stevejnb: not sure why you're comparing the smartphone market to the desktop market. And no, I don't think Android's numbers are that high globally, at least from what i remember last. I could check, like Lachezar Tsochev has apparently, but i'm too lazy.
  • -1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , October 18, 2013 2:04 AM
    I'd like to know how Apple's A7 stacks up against the current Haswell line of CPUs. Is there a way to benchmark this?
  • 1 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , October 18, 2013 3:12 AM
    Higher transistor density doesn't mean better efficiency. It's the architecture that matters most. This is why ARM has an advantage over x86 in the mobile market.
  • 1 Hide
    scannall , October 18, 2013 3:53 AM
    I don't really see him 'Taking a shot' at the A7. As the CEO of Intel he isn't going to say the A7 is great and his products suck after all. Seems he gives a proper amount of credit to a competing product, while boosting his own. You know, kind of what you'd expect a CEO to do.

    The A7 is a good product. And Apple has done some great stuff here. This is good for everyone, as it will make everyone pick up their game. I'd think even the 'Haters' would cheer the A7 on, is it will make their own favorites push harder.
  • -1 Hide
    sarinaide , October 18, 2013 3:54 AM
    What dear Intel doesn't seem to understand is that ARM has been efficient for smartphones for a very long time and will continue to become more so while more powerful, aptly so that you dont need more. Intel's mobile philosophy seems to be "lets slam a x86 processor on a smartphone" this while ARM and co continue dominance in the mobile market and Intel barely a footnote despite having all the money in the world.

    In the x86 market Intel were always able to dictate by virtue of having the money and better tech, AMD were never really able to sustain a period of advantage as ultimately even when ahead Intel were making more money. Perhaps it was AMD setting high prices that Intel now charge that ultimately did send AMD down. In the mobile market Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple and ARM etc will not allow Intel to enter and dictate, the current mobile technologies are better implemented than what Intel has to offer.
  • 1 Hide
    presna , October 18, 2013 5:00 AM
    @ta152h
    not to veer off the topic but that is an interesting thought on Apple using their own ARM chips for their entire line (at least that's what I assume you meant)....

    Since Apple did set the stage in introducing 64bit ARM chips into the wild... maybe the next iteration could bring some direct competition to Intel's PC products

    (caveat.... am NOT an apple fanboi......never was.... but seriously do think that ARM's 64bit processors are gonna shake things up for both Intel and AMD .... p.s. yeah I'm an AMD fanboi though... )
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , October 18, 2013 7:25 AM
    I don't think Apple could care less what Intel thinks about their mobile A7 processors. To my knowledge, Apple was not entertaining alternative processors for their mobile products. This sounds like a one-way rivalry to me.

    I don't think Apple will ever consider buying OEM chips and molding their device around them. I'm not a fan of Apple by any means, but there's a reason why their user experience indices are so high, and why they can net so much speed with a processing platform that is slower in clockspeed and only a dual core relative to most other ARM processing platforms in mobile devices. Because they integrate their entire product internally, and do the processor design in-house in order to best implement it.
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