Apple suppliers expecting big Apple Silicon revenue boost in 2020 and 2021

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited July 2020
Apple's main chip foundry TSMC has hiked its financial outlook for 2021 on the strength of new Macs, with the first Apple Silicon expected to ship in the MacBook Air in late 2020.

The 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro
The 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro


TSMC is expecting the climb to start in the third quarter of 2020. This is likely from the "A14" chip expected in the "iPhone 12." However, a new report claims that the company will ramp up production and revenue because of MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro in the second half of 2021.

DigiTimes reported on the TSMC revenue declaration. The publication says that TSMC expects to post revenues of between $11.2 billion and $11.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020, which is a 9.3% year-over-year increase.

Furthermore, the publication claims in that report published on Thursday morning that TSMC is expected to see orders for Apple's Mac lineup "ramp up and contribute substantially" starting in the second half of 2021.

A second report by DigiTimes reiterates that the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are expected to be the first Apple Silicon Macs. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also believes that Apple will release a 13-inch MacBook Air running Apple Silicon in late 2020. Recent reports also suggest that during the first quarter of 2021, Apple will "open contract bids" from suppliers for the manufacture of a new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

It isn't precisely clear how Kuo's predictions line up with the TSMC revenue increase prediction. It is possible that the third quarter 2020 revenue increase is tied to the late-2020 Apple Silicon hardware, with further production escalation as more of the Mac line moves over to Apple Silicon.

DigiTimes is a generally accurate source of information as it pertains to the electronics supply chain in China, Taiwan, and Korea. However, it has a poor track record as it pertains to features in Apple's devices, and launch windows.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member
    I’m wondering if Apple will use the same SOC for both MacBook Pro and air. I also wonder if that SOC ends up in a Mac mini.

    With the iPhone, every contemporaneous model has the same SOC and Apple differentiates models by screen size and quality. Apple only differentiates by SOC between iPhone generations and between iPhone and iPad (due largely to the big difference in power and thermals).

    Unless Apple moves to a chiplet design, they almost have to use the same SOC in multiple products because of economies of scale 


    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 597member
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    williamlondonthtfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member
    aderutter said:
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    You’re thinking like intel, try instead to think like Apple.

    Look at the price of the iPhone SE and the price of the 11 pro max. Then, look at the SOC in each. Are you still so confident?
    Beatsmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 597member
    Yes, the iPad has an A10, the iPad Air has an A12.

    And I’ll say it again, the AS team have said it is a family of chips aimed at different use cases. 
    A video editing MBP is not the same use case as a history student who only needs safari, mail and pages.

    The MBA might have the same chip as the entry level MBP with the MBP having a better display, more ram, different keyboard etc.
    But the top MBP will not have the same chip as the base student level MBA. Imho. Otherwise most people will just buy the cheapest machine at the screensize they want. That is not Apple. But time will tell. My guess is three SOC tiers: play, performance and pro.

    We may get a 13” MBP this year with an A14n, the rest of the line over the next 2 years including an iMac with A15N then a replacement 13” MBP with an A15n. Higher end chips will move down the line as new and better ones become available.

    I was surprised that the SE2 got an A13 but I think that is partly about not wanting too many chip variants and factory lines when they start adding the AS Mac chips. Partly about driving the augmented reality features. It also kicks the competition in the face which is nice. 

    I expect the iPad to be updated sooner rather than later for simialr reasons especially as A12 is the minimum for much of the augmented reality features now. A12 is now realistically the base minimum.

    i similarly think the minor bump for iPad Pro this year was to emphasise that the iPad Pro is plenty fast as is, and the new incoming chips are way better still. I’m sure Apple didn’t want the first AS MBP or MBA to be similar performance to an iPad Pro with an A13x, the new Macs will be significantly more advanced. Again imho.

    All guesswork of course ;)
    thtfastasleep
  • Reply 5 of 22
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,680member
    blastdoor said:
    aderutter said:
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    You’re thinking like intel, try instead to think like Apple.

    Look at the price of the iPhone SE and the price of the 11 pro max. Then, look at the SOC in each. Are you still so confident?
    That's a good point but it was mentioned during the WWDC keynote that Apple will be making a family of SoC's for Apple Silicon Macs.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 6 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member
    aderutter said:
    Yes, the iPad has an A10, the iPad Air has an A12.

    And I’ll say it again, the AS team have said it is a family of chips aimed at different use cases. 
    A video editing MBP is not the same use case as a history student who only needs safari, mail and pages.

    The MBA might have the same chip as the entry level MBP with the MBP having a better display, more ram, different keyboard etc.
    But the top MBP will not have the same chip as the base student level MBA. Imho. Otherwise most people will just buy the cheapest machine at the screensize they want. That is not Apple. But time will tell. My guess is three SOC tiers: play, performance and pro.

    We may get a 13” MBP this year with an A14n, the rest of the line over the next 2 years including an iMac with A15N then a replacement 13” MBP with an A15n. Higher end chips will move down the line as new and better ones become available.

    I was surprised that the SE2 got an A13 but I think that is partly about not wanting too many chip variants and factory lines when they start adding the AS Mac chips. Partly about driving the augmented reality features. It also kicks the competition in the face which is nice. 

    I expect the iPad to be updated sooner rather than later for simialr reasons especially as A12 is the minimum for much of the augmented reality features now. A12 is now realistically the base minimum.

    i similarly think the minor bump for iPad Pro this year was to emphasise that the iPad Pro is plenty fast as is, and the new incoming chips are way better still. I’m sure Apple didn’t want the first AS MBP or MBA to be similar performance to an iPad Pro with an A13x, the new Macs will be significantly more advanced. Again imho.

    All guesswork of course ;)

    Regarding this statement "Otherwise most people will just buy the cheapest machine at the screensize they want. That is not Apple."

    How is that not Apple? That's exactly Apple for both iPhones and iPads. The reason things work differently for the Mac is that "that's not Intel."  

    I don't disagree that there will be a family of chips, especially since, as you noted, Apple explicitly said that. 

    But I don't think Apple will be using the SOC for market segmentation the way Intel does. That is, I don't think Apple will go out of their way to limit the performance of a SOC in a less expensive device as a way to push people to a more expensive device (which is what Intel does). The iPhone SE is the perfect example. However, like the SE, perhaps the lower end Macs are updated less often (maybe MBA updated every 2 years, MBP every year). 

    Maybe the 16" MBP gets a higher clock speed on the same SOC that's in the 13" MBP and MBA, but I suspect it's still the same SOC. And I could also see that same SOC in a mini, but perhaps with an even higher clock speed. I could also see a lower-clocked version of this same SOC in an iPad Pro. For all of these devices, I'm imagining the 12 core (8 big/ 4 little) SOC we've heard rumored. Such a SOC would likely be more powerful than what's in the current 16" MBP, so it's not like that machine would be underpowered. 

    For the iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro, though, I'll guess Apple goes the chiplet route (or something similar), and that there could be a fair bit of difference across the desktop lineup in the number of CPU cores and GPU cores. But this wouldn't be a case of Apple artificially restricting the lower priced machines by disabling cores or needlessly under-clocking. It would be a case of, if you want more cores, you pay more. And in the case of the Mac Pro, perhaps you can pay a LOT more to get a LOT more. 



  • Reply 7 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member

    blastdoor said:
    aderutter said:
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    You’re thinking like intel, try instead to think like Apple.

    Look at the price of the iPhone SE and the price of the 11 pro max. Then, look at the SOC in each. Are you still so confident?
    That's a good point but it was mentioned during the WWDC keynote that Apple will be making a family of SoC's for Apple Silicon Macs.
    To clarify, I don't disagree that there will be a family. I just think that within the laptop lineup, it will all be the same SOC. 
    Beats
  • Reply 8 of 22
    seems to me that Apple makes more money and profits on SSD size about $200 more for a 512GB and $400 extra for a 1TB drive.
    I don't know how much these drives costs apple because the same upgrade in space ranges from $100 to $150 thru Dell on their XPS line.

    Personally, I always considered space to be a better option over speed
    maybe because i am a slow computer user who needs space and does not notice a difference in 1.?ghz processor.

    My concern is whether Apple will still over-charge for added GB on their MacBooks
    when the ARM chip is released, since we cannot switch drives as we did in the past.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,268member
    Side note: Apple acquired PA Semi in 2008 for about 290 million. I think this really underlined that it’s not necessarily the big acquisitions that bear the most significant changes. 

    Google acquired Motorola for 3bn and not a lot came out of that. It seems their acquisition of fit bit might also follow a the same path. 
    anonconformist
  • Reply 10 of 22
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Reading the headline: "Ummm.... duh?"

    blastdoor said:

    blastdoor said:
    aderutter said:
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    You’re thinking like intel, try instead to think like Apple.

    Look at the price of the iPhone SE and the price of the 11 pro max. Then, look at the SOC in each. Are you still so confident?
    That's a good point but it was mentioned during the WWDC keynote that Apple will be making a family of SoC's for Apple Silicon Macs.
    To clarify, I don't disagree that there will be a family. I just think that within the laptop lineup, it will all be the same SOC. 

    THIS is exactly what I thought. MAc chips will be slightly more efficient for MAc but they will all have the same chip per generation. I don't think Apple wants to make things complicated.

    Eventually I believe the goal is to have ALL Apple products, Watch/iPhone/Mac/iPad running the same chip per year. It will just take some time to get there.


  • Reply 11 of 22
    Beats said:
    Reading the headline: "Ummm.... duh?"

    blastdoor said:

    blastdoor said:
    aderutter said:
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    You’re thinking like intel, try instead to think like Apple.

    Look at the price of the iPhone SE and the price of the 11 pro max. Then, look at the SOC in each. Are you still so confident?
    That's a good point but it was mentioned during the WWDC keynote that Apple will be making a family of SoC's for Apple Silicon Macs.
    To clarify, I don't disagree that there will be a family. I just think that within the laptop lineup, it will all be the same SOC. 

    THIS is exactly what I thought. MAc chips will be slightly more efficient for MAc but they will all have the same chip per generation. I don't think Apple wants to make things complicated.

    Eventually I believe the goal is to have ALL Apple products, Watch/iPhone/Mac/iPad running the same chip per year. It will just take some time to get there.


    I don’t believe Apple will ever converge all their products to exactly the same chip: there are advantages to design differences for the various target uses.  I expect no less segmentation for Mac SOCs/processor cores compared to what their other devices are using, because a laptop needs to be a bit more optimized to power-sipping, which has a natural cost of processing throughput: a desktop has no real concerns for maximum CPU throughput or power efficiency, but it’s nice to keep them running cool and low-energy while you can, and then there are heavy-duty workstations/servers that benefit most from either a relatively few-but-fast CPU cores for things that aren’t massively-parallel, and then there are the occasional processing tasks that are embarrassingly-parallel that share almost no data: a bunch of power-sipping cores makes the most sense there.

    As such, I expect a minimum of 3 distinct performance profiles being designed, and at an absolute bare minimum, that requires 2 distinct cores to achieve it, though both could be on the same SOC or chiplets or whatever they put under the hood.  And, that’s just for the CPU cores!

    For the GPU, Apple may eventually only vary by the number of processor units in their own GPU design, but for now, I think Apple will still use discrete GPUs for top-performing machines, at least for laptops and desktops: I could see them making their own monster discrete GPU on their iMac Pro and MacPro due to not having heat/power/space constraints that are in laptops.  If they immediately go with only their own GPU processing units, they’ll only need to develop non-Apple Silicon device drivers for as long as discrete GPU machines are still supported, achieving economies of scale for device driver development, at least if Apple doesn’t keep mutating their GPU hardware (Metal is designed as an abstraction such that developers don’t need to worry about those details).  Like other major GPU manufacturers, I’d expect the hardware over many generations to be more alike than different anyway.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 597member
    To clarify I see three tiers of SOC: Play, Performance and Pro.

    I see Play (4+8 cores?) being used in low end laptops and Mac Mini.
    I see Performance (4+16?) being used in high end laptops and iMac.
    I see Pro (8+16 to 8+64?) being used in iMac Pro and Mac Pro.

    Again, just guesswork.

    My point about people just choosing screen size was that many people don’t care about some of the things that are in the high end products but do care about other things in the high end products. For example, if Apple released a new iPhone 12 Pro with mini-led and a cheaper version without mini-led I would expect most people to buy the cheaper one. 

    I bought the missus the iPhone 11 Pro last year as for her it is all about the camera, she has been wanting an iphone with telephoto lens for years. The only reason for buying the 11 Pro was the telephoto lens, she would prefer an SE2 if it had a telephoto lens. She would rather not have FaceID and has no interest in AR. For me on Macs (apart from OSXI) I would be all about the cores, if I could get a mac mini with HDD that can drive 2 monitors with 32 power cores as a cheap rendering box I would be very happy - but I don’t think Apple will make a non-pro Mac with pro power. It would be great to be wrong :) 

    The Apple way is usually adding a variety of tech changes as you go up the product line. 
    The PC way can be configure what you want (old slow drives and high end cpu/gpu if you want). 


  • Reply 13 of 22
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 597member
    Discrete GPUs will be going away for all AS imho.
    This is my perception from watching the WWDC videos.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member
    aderutter said:
    Discrete GPUs will be going away for all AS imho.
    This is my perception from watching the WWDC videos.

    I think you're right. 

    GPUs have two primary purposes these days -- games and computation. 

    For games, there's a lot of value to having pretty consistent gaming performance across all machines. Consoles are the ultimate example of this. We also see from consoles that an integrated SOC can be sufficient for high quality gaming. So I'd expect all ASi SOCs to be sufficient for gaming. 

    For computation, there's a lot of value to having the GPU in the same memory space as the CPU, so that data doesn't have to go over the PCI bus between the two. 

    Apple currently sells the Afterburner card for the Mac Pro. I could see something like that continuing in the future -- a specialized coprocessor card that is highly valuable for some use cases. 

    But in general, I anticipate no discrete GPUs. 
  • Reply 15 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member

    aderutter said:
    To clarify I see three tiers of SOC: Play, Performance and Pro.

    I see Play (4+8 cores?) being used in low end laptops and Mac Mini.
    I see Performance (4+16?) being used in high end laptops and iMac.
    I see Pro (8+16 to 8+64?) being used in iMac Pro and Mac Pro.

    Again, just guesswork.

    My point about people just choosing screen size was that many people don’t care about some of the things that are in the high end products but do care about other things in the high end products. For example, if Apple released a new iPhone 12 Pro with mini-led and a cheaper version without mini-led I would expect most people to buy the cheaper one. 

    I bought the missus the iPhone 11 Pro last year as for her it is all about the camera, she has been wanting an iphone with telephoto lens for years. The only reason for buying the 11 Pro was the telephoto lens, she would prefer an SE2 if it had a telephoto lens. She would rather not have FaceID and has no interest in AR. For me on Macs (apart from OSXI) I would be all about the cores, if I could get a mac mini with HDD that can drive 2 monitors with 32 power cores as a cheap rendering box I would be very happy - but I don’t think Apple will make a non-pro Mac with pro power. It would be great to be wrong :) 

    The Apple way is usually adding a variety of tech changes as you go up the product line. 
    The PC way can be configure what you want (old slow drives and high end cpu/gpu if you want). 


    Which of your core counts are big and which are little? 
  • Reply 16 of 22
    blastdoor said:
    aderutter said:
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    You’re thinking like intel, try instead to think like Apple.

    Look at the price of the iPhone SE and the price of the 11 pro max. Then, look at the SOC in each. Are you still so confident?
    I also continue to be confident. We won't know exactly how apple took on this challenge until varying devices ship and are stripped down. It's possible apple may use the same chip for select product families and sub groupings. I wouldn't be surprised to see the same SOC in the MacBook Air and entry level MacBook Pro 13. Perhaps it will be a question of frequency or a question of having some cores deactivated. 

    But when It comes to higher level Macs like a-spec 16 MBPs, iMacs, and Mac Pros I'd expect to see and expanded architecture to manage heighten performance. At the end of the day though we know next to nothing. Because apple is free to approach this however they like. One crazy SOC in every Mac with parts deactivated could be possible but something about that does not sound right to me. Apple is fairly clever and I wouldn't be surprised by their solution being more elegant than imagined.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,271member
    Side note: Apple acquired PA Semi in 2008 for about 290 million. I think this really underlined that it’s not necessarily the big acquisitions that bear the most significant changes. 

    Google acquired Motorola for 3bn and not a lot came out of that. It seems their acquisition of fit bit might also follow a the same path. 
    For about 1 billion they picked up PA semi a couple of of smaller fabless Si teams and the LLVM project. Seriously good investments combined. 

    Everything about modern Apple comes back to what that combination has done. A series SOC, T chips, Swift and SwiftUI, universal binaries, x86 JIT translation will no doubt be a part of that, even things like Metal, and smaller but significant changes all over every product Apple make. 
  • Reply 18 of 22
    XedXed Posts: 2,460member
    blastdoor said:
    aderutter said:
    WWDC AS team stated a family of chips, focused on different use cases.
    So different silicon in different Macs.
    i don’t think a $1000 13” Air user will get the same chip as a $4000 16” MBP user.
    You’re thinking like intel, try instead to think like Apple.

    Look at the price of the iPhone SE and the price of the 11 pro max. Then, look at the SOC in each. Are you still so confident?
    So you think the cheapest MBA and most expensive Mac Pro will have the same CPU performance and if they don’t do this they’re thinking just like Intel?

    That doesn’t compute for me.

    Apple had said they have designed a scalable architecture and I expect a complete family of chips, just as Apple has been designing many chips for various uses for a decade.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member
    mattinoz said:
    Side note: Apple acquired PA Semi in 2008 for about 290 million. I think this really underlined that it’s not necessarily the big acquisitions that bear the most significant changes. 

    Google acquired Motorola for 3bn and not a lot came out of that. It seems their acquisition of fit bit might also follow a the same path. 
    For about 1 billion they picked up PA semi a couple of of smaller fabless Si teams and the LLVM project. Seriously good investments combined. 

    Everything about modern Apple comes back to what that combination has done. A series SOC, T chips, Swift and SwiftUI, universal binaries, x86 JIT translation will no doubt be a part of that, even things like Metal, and smaller but significant changes all over every product Apple make. 
    Really great point.

    its almost as if somebody at Apple had really great taste in acquisitions 
  • Reply 20 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,394member
    Beats said:

    Eventually I believe the goal is to have ALL Apple products, Watch/iPhone/Mac/iPad running the same chip per year. It will just take some time to get there.
    Ah yes, the obvious end game: Apple Watch and Mac Pro running the same SoC. Makes perfect sense!
    crowleymuthuk_vanalingam
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