Apple has been rumored to be working on new computing devices that will use its own A-series processors instead of ones from Intel. Now, a new note from former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo details how Apple will transition from using Intel’s Core processors to its own chipsets. In a new investor note, Kuo believes that we could see Macs with Apple’s own chipsets by 2020 and an autonomous car system powered by a custom silicon could arrive by 2023.
The report from Kuo, detailed by 9to5Mac, reveals that Apple will retain TSMC as the sole supplier for A-series chipsets. The Taiwanese foundry stands to reap benefits if Apple switches entirely to A-series chips for all devices from iPhone to Mac. Kuo also predicts that Apple will only become more dependent on TSMC since it offers high-quality design and production compared to other foundries.
According to Kuo, Apple will introduce the first Mac powered by its custom-designed ARM chips only in 2020 or 2021. He notes that dropping Intel processors will release Apple from sticking with the Santa Clara-based chipmaker’s release schedules for its own product lineup. The new details are in line with a report from Bloomberg, which stated Apple plans to switch over to A-series processors for Mac by 2020.
By moving to A-series processors for Mac lineup, Apple will also be able to increase its profit margins and have higher market share by lowering the price of future products. Kuo also adds that this will result in TSMC delivering better profits than its rivals in the foundry business.
Kuo says TSMC will have a better first quarter in 2019 with the demand for iPhone XR powered by the new A12 Bionic chipset. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company reported a marginal loss during the first quarter of this year due to lower than expected demand for A11 Bionic. The note adds that TSMC will remain the sole supplier for Apple A13 SoC next year and the A14 in 2020.
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TSMC, according to Kuo, will also be delivering custom chips for Apple’s Advanced Driver Assistance System, which could power autonomous vehicles. He believes Apple is working to bring Level 4 or Level 5 fully autonomous driving to consumers. The autonomous driving technology will rely on TSMC’s 3nm or 5nm chip process in the future. Apple has been running multiple tests in California but has remained silent about its efforts in this space.