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Apple Inc., ARM & Qualcomm aggressively poaching IBM's chip designers

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
As IBM secretly mulls plans to sell off its increasing outdated processor chip fabs in New York and Vermont, a new wave of mobile chip developers--led by Apple, ARM and Qualcomm--are hiring away many of the top chip designers of the once leading firm.

A7


"The job market for chip designers in Austin over the last two years has been amazing, with Apple, ARM and Qualcomm all recruiting very aggressively and successfully from IBM and other struggling chipmakers like AMD and Freescale," wrote a former IBM employee, in response to a series of reports authored by Rick Merritt of the EE Times regarding IBM's struggling chip operations.

"The IBM server development group in Austin has lost a huge amount of intellectual capital, as the best and brightest were drawn away to higher salaries and more promising opportunities. Design teams in Raleigh and Rochester have also suffered big losses. I was one of the ones voting with my feet and leaving IBM last year," the employee wrote.

The high end processor industry, just like the PC, has been experiencing a market shift toward cheaper, commodity products built overseas even as the explosion of mobile devices pull away investment and talent.IBM has an impressively long history of delivering technology advancements in the field of chip manufacturing, but the rapidly changing market has increasingly left it behind


IBM has an impressively long history of delivering technology advancements in the field of chip manufacturing, but the rapidly changing market has increasingly left it behind.

On top of that, a new crop of chip designers focusing on mobile designs is aggressively raiding IBM's talent, offering better pay and the opportunity to work on compelling projects subsidized by the fat profits being generated by the mobile industry.

Apple takes over mobile



Apple's mobile-powered rise from the ashes of its mid-1990s failure to keep up with the global commoditization in desktop PCs began with iPod in 2001, but really gained momentum with the iPhone beginning in 2007 and iPad in 2010.

Behind the scenes, however, Apple has been reinvesting its mobile profits in advanced hardware designs. In particular, the company has built up--nearly from scratch--one of the industry's leading chip design teams, capable of delivering not just competitive Application Processors but designs unmatched by its peers.

By designing its own chips, Apple can funnel its profits back into proprietary designs that its commodity competitors can't match (or benefit from) even as it deeply integrates its software to take advantage of advanced, unique hardware.

Metal iOS 8


That's exemplified in efforts like Metal, which takes special advantage of the Apple's A7 chip to enhance both third party games and Apple's differentiated user interface of iOS, enhanced with translucency, parallax and fluid animation driven by the company's A-series chips with powerful mobile GPUs.

IBM's increasingly beleaguered chip operations



IBM has long been a leader in semiconductor design, having pioneered the use of solid state transistors for its own mainframe computers back in the late 1950s as noted in Merritt's overview of the company's current predicament.

Merritt cited Rob Lineback, a senior analyst at IC Insights, as noting that IBM became "one of the first companies to start putting memory on chips. Early on they figured out processor performance depended on how much memory you had on your chip, so they very quickly moved to half the processor being memory."

IBM's development of "Silicon On Insulator" technology resulted in what Merritt's colleague David Lammers explained as new chips designs having an "insulating layer [that] helps contain the charge in DRAM cells, enabling IBM to pack big, fast caches on its Power chips."

IBM's advancements in chip design attracted the attention of Apple in the early 1990s, resulting in PowerPC, an initiative to scale down IBM's advanced, server-oriented Power architecture to serve as a replacement for the Macintosh's Motorola 68k processor family in 1994. PowerPC also hoped to replace Intel's x86 chips, but the money flowing into DOS and Windows PCs kept funding advancements to Intel's aging x86 in a way that PowerPC found increasingly impossible to outpace.



By 2005, Apple's Steve Jobs had given up on IBM and announced plans to migrate Macs to Intel's latest x86 Core designs. PowerPC continued on in embedded applications and, notably, as the core technology behind Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. It has since lost the next generation console market to AMD, while the general purpose embedded market has increasingly migrated toward ARM chips.

Power and PowerPC also remained important in server applications. However, with the move to "cloud computing" data centers operated by low cost leaders, IBM began losing that market, too. Amazon and Google now represent 20 percent of the server market, and they want cheap servers rather than IBM's service-oriented premium servers targeting traditional businesses.

"Sales went to the lowest-cost provider of simplified systems--increasingly Taiwan ODMs such as Foxconn and Quanta," Merritt notes, citing Insight64 analyst Nathan Brookwood as explaining, "the mega-datacenter guys don't need and won't pay for services; they want lots of dense, low-cost servers. But IBM wants to sell beefier, pricier servers."

A second report by Merritt detailed that IBM's Power sales have plummeted from $7.5 billion in 2005 to just $3.9 billion last year. The company's 2013 annual report said IBM "recognizes that the size of the Power platform will not return to prior revenue levels. The company will take action by right-sizing the business for the demand characteristics it expects."

In January, IBM announced plans to sell its x86 PC server business to Lenovo, and in April it unveiled an "Open Power" initiative to render its Power architecture an open source design, similar to Sun's ill fated efforts to do the same with its OpenSparc program back in 2005.

IBM appears likely to sell off chip fabs



A key issue for IBM is what to do with its semiconductor manufacturing plants in East Fishkill, New York and Burlington, Vermont. In a third article reviewing IBM's situation, Merritt indicated that IBM "is exploring a sale of one or both of its fabs," with sources suggesting GlobalFoundries (a client of Apple and partner of Samsung) to be the most likely buyer.The uncertainty surrounding IBM's future operations has resulted in a stream of IBM's top designers being recruited by Apple's chip design team

"GlobalFoundries recently said it has hired on a temporary basis '200 experienced engineers and managers to support its current Fab 8 ramp' in upstate New York from May to December 2014," Merritt reported.

IBM isn't saying anything public about its plans, as such an announcement would likely hurt its asking price for the facilities. If Apple were interested in buying a chip fab, IBM's sale could certainly offer a rare chance to pick up manufacturing capacity. However, Apple has not signaled any apparent interest in buying its own chip factories.

Instead, Apple has long coordinated with third parties to manufacture its components, even for chips like the A7 and devices like Touch ID where Apple has developed custom designs. Apple is, however, constantly looking for semiconductor design talent. And the uncertainty surrounding IBM's future operations has resulted in a stream of IBM's top designers being recruited by Apple's chip design team.

Apple's appetite for ARM also eating up IBM



When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, his first actions included the sale of Apple's stake in ARM, a partnership the company initiated in the late 1980s in order to adapt a little used chip developed by Acorn Computer into a low power chip appropriate for mobile use in Apple's 1990's Newton MessagePad (below).



While Apple's fortunes began to decline in the mid 1990s, ARM gained the attention of Nokia, which helped make the chip design broadly popular in cell phones. Jobs helped fund Apple's recovery with the perfectly timed sale of ARM shares in the late 1990s, then became an increasingly important client of ARM processors in 2001 with the development of the ARM-powered iPod.

By 2007, ARM was the only sensible choice for iPhone. Apple's new phone was powered by a stock Samsung ARM design, but Apple was already at work lining up its own plans for custom chip designs, starting with a secret agreement to license PowerVR GPU intellectual property from Imagination Technologies in July 2007. AppleInsider exclusively reported on Apple's secret mobile chip developments and plans to "muscle advanced gaming graphics into iPhones."

In 2008, Apple acquired P.A. Semi, a "fabless" chip designer that had been developing advanced PowerPC processors. That move signaled a return to Apple's history in developing custom silicon in the 1980s. At the same time, it shifted some of the world's most talented chip designers from PowerPC to ARM.

That same year, Apple also recruited Mark Papermaster, who had served as "IBM's top expert in Power architecture and technology." IBM responded with a lawsuit that called the hire "an attempt to expand Apple's presence in the markets for servers and chips for handheld devices."

Papermaster ended up leaving Apple in 2010, reportedly due to "cultural incompatibility." However, an increasing number of other IBM employees have since joined Apple without involving lawsuits or internal political fights.

Apple passes up Intel's "UMPC" Atom plans to develop a tablet chip of its own



By 2009, rumors of an Apple tablet appeared, stoking parallel rumors that the company might migrate from ARM to Intel's low power x86 Atom architecture (then known as Silverthorne). Instead, Apple developed A4: a custom new ARM chip with the power to drive the company's equally new iPad.

AppleInsider exclusively reported on the significance of the A4, noting Apple's rumored acquisition of Intrinsity to enhance the chip's performance at a time when various experts where assuming Apple was doing nothing new and likely just using off the shelf IP, including ARM's baseline Mali GPU core.

Sales of iPhones bankrolled further rapid chip development while Apple's new iPad began offering a compelling alternative to conventional PCs, particularly in education and the enterprise. Apple's sales iPads as tablet computers have been unmatched by the industry, immediately surpassing the previous decade of Microsoft's Windows Tablet licensing efforts and outflanking competitive efforts by BlackBerry and Palm to create similar tablet products.

Microsoft's own Surface tablets have only found niche sales, while Google's Android tablet initiatives have primarily served as portable TVs, failing to develop an ecosystem of custom apps. Over the past three and a half years, Apple's dominance of virtually all the valuable markets for mobile devices has funded a rapid advance in chip sophistication, culminating in Apple's A7, the first 64-bit mobile processor to be used in a smartphone.


iPhone 5s logic board with Qualcomm baseband chipset. | Source: iFixit


Apple's extreme secrecy in chip development resulted in the A7 delivering advanced DSLR-style camera processing resources, integration of Touch ID's on-chip Secure Enclave, ground breaking support for the efficient new ARMv8 architecture and Imagination's latest "Rogue" GPU design--all without any leaks of any of Apple's plans until the day they were publicly revealed.

IBM's decline follows Texas Instruments'



Without Apple's ability to sell high end, profitable devices, the rest of the industry has focused on selling low end phones in volume. That shift has had a tremendous impact on the production of competitive mobile chips, even among ARM licensees.

In 2012, Texas Instruments announced it would no longer pursue Application Processors for consumer devices after a string of products powered by its OMAP ARM chips delivered disappointing results, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, Palm Pre, RIM BlackBerry Playbook, Motorola's Xyboard tablet and MOTOACTIVE music player, Nokia's N9, Google's Nexus Q and Galaxy Nexus.



Unlike TI, which had to account for significant overhead with its chip clients related to managing documentation and support for various OMAP chips and features, Apple is the only consumer of its internally designed A-series chips. That frees the company to focus on building only what it wants and needs, and it doesn't have to communicate with third parties about the intricacies of how its silicon works.

Apple subsequently was reported to have hired away much of TI's OMAP team located in Haifa and Herzliya, Israel, a site already in close proximity to Anobit, the flash memory chip designer Apple acquired in late 2011.

In addition to Israel, Apple also has growing teams of chip designers working in Austin, Texas, and in Melbourne, Florida, where the company's Melbourne Design Center, acquired as part of AuthenTec, is located.

Last year, Apple also acquired the highly efficient chip designer Passif Semiconductor in California, Israeli 3D sensor firm PrimeSense as well as Swedish data compression firm AlgoTrim.

Apple's growing staff of A-series chip developers are also working in extreme secrecy near the company's Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, and are currently slated to be among the groups who will not be moving to the company's new "spaceship" Apple Campus 2, now under construction.

Industry observers are next watching to see if Apple signals an intent to take on Qualcomm to a big to build its own baseband chips, or potentially partner with Intel to again use its Infineon baseband chips. Speculation has also targeted the potential for Apple to use its own ARM-based designs in lower end Macs in place of Intel's chips.
post #2 of 30

So the no poaching treaties have officially been run through the shredder? 

post #3 of 30
"As IBM secretly mulls plans" ... some secret!
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #4 of 30

the anti-poaching treaties were shredded per court order...   Poaching employees (e.g. "a fair and open job market") is perfectly legal.

post #5 of 30
As IBM secretly mulls plans to sell off its increasing outdated processor chip fabs in New York and Vermont, a new wave of mobile chip developers%u2014led by Apple, ARM and Qualcomm%u2014are hiring away many of the top chip designers of the once leading firm.

Daniel, it is not often that I question your motives with articles, but this time around I question quite a bit. "As IBM secretly...", is absolutely false. Daniel, Business Week, ArsTechnica, Business Week, Computer World, WSJ and other sites/publications ran this story way back in February 2014. It is not a secret.

"...increasing outdated processor chip...", another false statement. You do not have to follow the path of other bloggers/analysts to get legitimate hits. Come on, please be better than you are being here.

"...once leading firm.", IBM supplied chips for Xbox and Playstation simultaneously due to its chip prowess. The hiring of IBM engineers shows how strong IBM is believed to be in the chip manufacturing arena.

"...a new crop of chip designers focusing on mobile designs is aggressively raiding IBM's talent, offering better pay and the opportunity to work on compelling projects subsidized by the fat profits being generated by the mobile industry. I do not usually bash Apple, but come on Daniel. Apple just settled a class action lawsuit for illegally conspiring with other companies to not hire each other's employees. Now that Apple is being deeply monitored, it HAS to offer better pay to get great engineers.

You know this to be true, yet you write an article that portrays IBM in a very negative light and Apple in a positive light. Please, please, please, be better than other bloggers. Please tell the truth. You will get just as many hits.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

As IBM secretly mulls plans to sell off its increasing outdated processor chip fabs in New York and Vermont, a new wave of mobile chip developers%u2014led by Apple, ARM and Qualcomm%u2014are hiring away many of the top chip designers of the once leading firm.
Daniel, it is not often that I question your motives with articles, but this time around I question quite a bit. "As IBM secretly...", is absolutely false. Daniel, Business Week, ArsTechnica, Business Week, Computer World, WSJ and other sites/publications ran this story way back in February 2014. It is not a secret.
It's "secret" in the sense that IBM isn't publicly saying it plans to sell anything, for the reason outlined in the article. Apple's wearables plans are "secret" even if a variety of sources have made claims, many of which are likely to be accurate. One could say "quietly" or under the radar, but do you think that is materially different? Also, the story isn't about a "secret," it's about reported hirings. 

"...increasing outdated processor chip...", another false statement. You do not have to follow the path of other bloggers/analysts to get legitimate hits. Come on, please be better than you are being here.
IBM has underinvested in its fabs and they are no longer considered state of the art. Read the linked reports on the subject. 

"...once leading firm.", IBM supplied chips for Xbox and Playstation simultaneously due to its chip prowess. The hiring of IBM engineers shows how strong IBM is believed to be in the chip manufacturing arena.
The article isn't about IBM being a bad company that's never done anything good. It's about IBM losing the ability to retain talent as its revenues collapse and its management flounders. 
"...a new crop of chip designers focusing on mobile designs is aggressively raiding IBM's talent, offering better pay and the opportunity to work on compelling projects subsidized by the fat profits being generated by the mobile industry. I do not usually bash Apple, but come on Daniel. Apple just settled a class action lawsuit for illegally conspiring with other companies to not hire each other's employees. Now that Apple is being deeply monitored, it HAS to offer better pay to get great engineers.
Sorry that just isn't true. Apple and Google have paid and currently pay competitive salaries. The lawsuit benefitted a series of attorneys, and handed a meaningless ~$2000 or so to each of the employees who joined the lawsuit trying to get money from their former employers. California has "right to work" laws. Companeis can't stop employees from leaving. The poaching agreements Jobs pushed for simply asked Google not to cold call Apple's teams in efforts to disrupt teams like WebKit. Just because you read some garbage in the media doesn't mean you should believe it.
You know this to be true, yet you write an article that portrays IBM in a very negative light and Apple in a positive light. Please, please, please, be better than other bloggers. Please tell the truth. You will get just as many hits.
IBM is an a negative place. Look at their revenue. That's key. 
post #7 of 30
IBM still produces CPU's for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, AND the Wii U. They didnt lose the whole next gen console market.

Some of the earlier ones may be produced somewhere else, but I am pretty sure the Wii U's Espresso chip is produced at the Fishkill plant. If IBM tried to sell all their fabbing plants...they still have a lot of contracted orders to fill.
post #8 of 30
Apple, ARM and Qualcomm are poaching talent?

Based on how far behind ARM and Qualcomm are compared to Apple it looks like they didn't poach enough.
post #9 of 30
I don't believe IBM has ever focused on making mobile chips. IBM is more worried about serving it's enterprise base and making advancements in quantum computing.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/36901.wss
post #10 of 30

I think it's really interesting that Apple is becoming a 21st century version of what IBM once was -- the preeminent vertically integrated computer company. In 1970 the computers were in big rooms, today they slip into your pocket. But both then and now, the most successful computer company designs/controls the silicon, OS, compilers, programming language, and more. 

 

In the 1990s it was taken as given by many industry observers that vertical integration was a failed business model. But I wonder if the failure was not in the model but in the implementation of that model by IBM and Apple in the 80s and 90s, while Microsoft and Intel just did a much better job of implementing their approach. 

 

Conversely, I wonder if we should be careful to avoid making the opposite mistake today. That is, maybe the reason Microsoft has done poorly in recent years is not so much that their business model is inferior, but that their implementation of the model has been inferior (Google seems to be doing a better job with a revised version of that model). 

 

Perhaps the market can support both models simultaneously... I hope so. I think we are all better off by having companies successfully implementing both models. I personally like Apple's approach and products better, but I'm glad the competition is out there. 

post #11 of 30

Now that Apple has left Samsung for Fabbing, I believe we will see a significant increase in features/performance coming out of Apple's chip designs. Apple learned that UI can be copied easily enough, however, hardware capabilities don't copy as quickly. I see Apple distancing themselves more and more over the coming years. 

post #12 of 30

Seems like a great time to be chip designer right now. No more anti-poaching agreements and a lot of demand.

 

It feels good to know that the guys with the skills will now get paid their worth.

post #13 of 30
Sadly a lot of problems with this article! Many have already been pointed out but I will add one more. The Melburne Design Center is not related to the finger print sensor company. It is my understanding anyways that Melburne is focused on advancing Apples GPU chops. As such they have hired away many AMD engineers

The general idea expressed in the article is correct, Apple is rapidly advancing it's design capability. Frankly this is to an extent that few grasp. As I've mentioned before in other threads, Apple really has no choice because it is on silicon where innovation takes place these days. Silicon is the printed circuit board of the 80's. Apple would need to hire these guys even if IBM was doing a bang up job.

In this sense hiring these sorts of people is no different than hiring Woz and the engineers of those days that pieced together computers from stock parts. Today's stock parts are IP blocks and block Apple custom Engineers. Apple isn't any closer to being vertically integrated than they where when the first Mac came out. They may get there but they have a huge amount of work to do yet.

In the end a good point in an otherwise terrible article.
post #14 of 30

Wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs

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post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Apple, ARM and Qualcomm are poaching talent?

Based on how far behind ARM and Qualcomm are compared to Apple it looks like they didn't poach enough.

 

ARM and Apple are not competitors. Apple's processors are based on ARM's designs. Qualcomm supply 64% of the processors used in smartphones despite being at the premium end of the market in terms of pricing. Their profits are going through the roof. 

 

What you've just said makes no sense.

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs

even the late great Steve Jobs said do not speculate on what Steve Jobs would do....

thus we don't know what would have happened...

though, there is a good chance that a troll would have said exactly
Quote:
Wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs
post #17 of 30

It's a joke, you plum

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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

It's a joke, you plum

I had to laugh at his / her retort there ... but , you should add a smiley, too many people are just waiting to pounce when a joke or sarcasm sails way over their heads. ... it seems to be a new sport ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Apple, ARM and Qualcomm are poaching talent?

Based on how far behind ARM and Qualcomm are compared to Apple it looks like they didn't poach enough.

ARM doesn't fab, so they are probably looking for IBM computer scientists rather than process engineers.

 

I doubt Qualcomm is that far behind, though they were caught flat footed by Apple's 64 bit surprise, as was most everyone else. I'd argue that Qualcomm will be right where they need to be for the 64 bit Android market, which desires more generic, and less costly, processors than Apple can tolerate.

 

Obviously, Apple is well served by its A series processors, and adding more talent solidifies its industry position.

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

"As IBM secretly mulls plans" ... some secret!

 

Yes, it's the little things DED does to add to his articles that makes his readers either love him or get a chuckle out of it.  Daniel letting this secret out of the bag is pretty headlining news, but he has quite a few points right.

 

That's probably why he gets such recognition that Phil Schiller would put AI and 'Daniel Eran Dilger' on one of his presentation slides!  How'd you swing that one Daniel?

 

The two groups referenced are actually seperate groups.  There is IBM design team, and there are IBM's manufacturing sites.  IBM was a pioneer in manufacturing, especially in the 80's and 90's.  First 200mm fab, SOI, first to copper etc.  With the boom in Asian companies making devices the landscape changed pretty dramatically.  First it was just memory, and then processors.  It is just too tough to continue manufacturing in the US competing with Asian wages, which is why the shift has been largely toward Korea and Taiwan and now China coming up (though they are still gaining the skills in making memory more so than processors).  IBM's manufacturing has been its weakest link for some time and has openly been shopped several times and for many years.  Whether a deal comes down the pike sooner or later is almost an inevitability.  Global Foundries makes a lot of sense because the Fishkill and Malta plants work together quite a bit.

 

That is different than their design group which still has skills that haven't transferred in whole to Asia (although TSMC which formerly just manufactured designs others gave it, will now also design those chips if needed).  The design group still does some pretty core work for IBM and isn't likely for sale along with the aging manufacturing sites.

 

I believe the reality is just more 'business as usual.'  Apple wants experienced chip designers.  Apple is hiring chip designers.  Chip designers are leaving Apple as well (I think they lost their lead A5 chip designer a year or two ago) despite the ramp up.  Its great news for chip designers- they have difficult skills that are highly in demand.

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

ARM and Apple are not competitors. Apple's processors are based on ARM's designs. Qualcomm supply 64% of the processors used in smartphones despite being at the premium end of the market in terms of pricing. Their profits are going through the roof. 

What you've just said makes no sense.
Wrong. Apple DOES NOT make processors off ARM designs. This has been proven countless times in analysis of the A7. They make processors that run ARMv8 code, but they are 100% custom designed by Apple. AMD also makes custom processors that run x86 code. AMD doesn't use Intel designs.

Qualcomm has a large chunk because they are pretty much the only player out there. That has nothing to do with how far behind they are. If Apple sold their A6 and A7 to other companies Qualcomm would tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmay View Post

ARM doesn't fab, so they are probably looking for IBM computer scientists rather than process engineers.

I doubt Qualcomm is that far behind, though they were caught flat footed by Apple's 64 bit surprise, as was most everyone else. I'd argue that Qualcomm will be right where they need to be for the 64 bit Android market, which desires more generic, and less costly, processors than Apple can tolerate.

Obviously, Apple is well served by its A series processors, and adding more talent solidifies its industry position.
Qualcomm is miles behind. Their 64bit chip doesn't arrive until Q1 2015 and is using the A57 core from Qualcomm. As data have already shown, the A7 is more advanced and faster than the A57. So Qualcomm's new chip will be inferior to a 15 month old A7 by the time it launches. And we don't even know what the A8 will bring in a few months.

Apple is in a different league when it comes to ARM processors. Even ARM is behind Apple.
post #22 of 30

As far as Wall Street is concerned, Apple doesn't even have a processor design division.  Apple certainly gets no premium for designing its own processors and they're certainly not considered innovative by the news media.  Even when the A7 was announced as the world's first 64-bit mobile processor it was greeted with jeers as being pretty much useless.  Apple's chip division is invisible to everyone except Apple.  Wall Street definitely considers Qualcomm's Snapdragon and NVidia Tegra processors far more impressive than Apple's A-series processors.  Maybe because Apple doesn't have impressive demos that are shown at those processor events by those other companies.  The news media is more interested in benchmarks spouting insane numbers as to which company makes the most powerful processors.  Apple doesn't seem to give much information about benchmarks of A-series processors so they're overlooked by the mobile industry.  Since Apple doesn't have to sell its processors to anyone I guess they can take a low-key approach and say as little as possible about them.  Apple has no octa-core processors nor do they have processors running at nearly 3 GHz.  The news media likes to drool over those big numbers because they sound very impressive.

post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Dilger is and always will be a hack. He cobbles together the flimsiest of conclusions based on whatever biased sources or predetermined headline he has in mind.

I consider him no better than the Bill O'Reilly of Apple reporting.

If you compare DED to Bill O'Reilly, I don't think you're getting any benefit from what the word "hack" is supposed to convey.

There are real hacks like Blodgett, Lyons, even Daisey, you could better spend your outrage on. They're on the wrong side. DED is on the right side, and he turns his readers on to some, many, good views from that perspective. He doesn't have to get everything right, just keep the Irish fighting spirit going. Why? Because Apple is still the underdog in the bizarre world of mainstream tech and business journalism.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

If you compare DED to Bill O'Reilly, I don't think you're getting any benefit from what the word "hack" is supposed to convey.

There are real hacks like Blodgett, Lyons, even Daisey, you could better spend your outrage on. They're on the wrong side. DED is on the right side, and he turns his readers on to some, many, good views from that perspective. He doesn't have to get everything right, just keep the Irish fighting spirit going. Why? Because Apple is still the underdog in the bizarre world of mainstream tech and business journalism.

I consider Phillip Elmer DeWitt a reputable journalist on Apple matters. Also Jason Snell.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I think it's really interesting that Apple is becoming a 21st century version of what IBM once was -- the preeminent vertically integrated computer company. In 1970 the computers were in big rooms, today they slip into your pocket. But both then and now, the most successful computer company designs/controls the silicon, OS, compilers, programming language, and more. 

In the 1990s it was taken as given by many industry observers that vertical integration was a failed business model. But I wonder if the failure was not in the model but in the implementation of that model by IBM and Apple in the 80s and 90s, while Microsoft and Intel just did a much better job of implementing their approach. 

Conversely, I wonder if we should be careful to avoid making the opposite mistake today. That is, maybe the reason Microsoft has done poorly in recent years is not so much that their business model is inferior, but that their implementation of the model has been inferior (Google seems to be doing a better job with a revised version of that model). 

Perhaps the market can support both models simultaneously... I hope so. I think we are all better off by having companies successfully implementing both models. I personally like Apple's approach and products better, but I'm glad the competition is out there. 
IMO, the problem with vertical integration is "what" not "why"

A company like Apple, buying companies to support their primary businesses , eg chip designers, software developers, etc makes sense. A company like Comcast who owns both Media and data networks does not, because that puts one of those business arms in conflict with the other. There are customers (eg business) that need the data, and do not wish to subsidize the media arm. Comcast can't make a customer choose between It and "the other guy" because they own some media networks, when the truth is that owning that media network is what makes them expensive. Apple on the other hand isn't selling anything but hardware and "cloud services" so buying all these companies only puts the other customers of those companies on notice that they might lose them as a supplier. The average customer of these companies is not a general consumer.

Which comes back to the IBM comparison. IBM (and AT&T) at various points in their history were instrumental in getting technology to where it is, which is what Apple did with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. AT&T is responsible for Unix and the C language getting out, and IBM is responsible for the "PC" getting out, but not completely without a fight. These were companies who had technology and didn't know what to do with it. Apple's version of this was Google looting it's iPhone IP, and it ending up in Samsung's hands.

I think the Android platform is fundamentally flawed and literately runs the opposite direction that Metal is. I fully expect the Android platform defenders to cry foul about it, as they are going to be stuck with OpenGL ES, much in the same way earlier feature phones were stuck with JavaME. Much of the software that is portable between iOS and Android is written using Unity, and it's not the most efficient thing to use as it suffers from exactly the problems Apple pointed out, too much abstraction and inefficiency.
post #26 of 30
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
Wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs
Originally Posted by haar View Post
even the late great Steve Jobs said do not speculate on what Steve Jobs would do....

 

For once, Crowley is right. Because we know that Steve was against stealing employees from other companies, if only because he didn’t want HIS employees stolen.

 

But he wouldn’t at all have been against hiring competitors’ people if it meant keeping his own.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Dilger is and always will be a hack. He cobbles together the flimsiest of conclusions based on whatever biased sources or predetermined headline he has in mind.

I consider him no better than the Bill O'Reilly of Apple reporting.

 

Your repugnant personal attacks are out of line. Stop posting garbage or I'll request that your account be terminated for violating TOS and basic decency.

 

Comment on topic on a professional level or leave. 

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post
 

That's probably why he gets such recognition that Phil Schiller would put AI and 'Daniel Eran Dilger' on one of his presentation slides!  How'd you swing that one Daniel?

 

I took the photo at the iPhone 5s event and added site & photographer credits as a watermark because everything we post is immediately stolen by everyone else. But you knew that.

post #29 of 30
And in other news, Google is using IBM's new Power8 chip to build their new servers (red motherboard). So much for "Amazon and Google now represent 20 percent of the server market, and they want cheap servers rather than IBM's service-oriented premium servers targeting traditional businesses."
post #30 of 30
Interesting article. The move to ARM is continuing apace. It seems likely to me that ARM will find a new home in the Mac within the next three years. The benefits to developers will be great: they will be able to sell an app that works on your three devices, thereby increasing the synergy between iOS and Mac OS X. The Mac's visibility will be significantly increased, and Mac developers will be able to reduce the cost of their apps as a result.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
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