AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su addressed a series of questions with reporters in a Q&A session after the keynote address at CES 2021 on Tuesday, including Apple’s first request to comment in the desktop space.
To press via conference call, Su addressed a number of questions about AMD’s upcoming plans, the x86 platform, and new developments in the highly competitive semiconductor market.
Dr. Ian cutress of Anandtek ARM focuses on the emergence of processor design. According to Cress, the ARM model is expected to give a considerable boost to compute performance in the coming years and it may begin to encroach on the field for a long time by x86 manufacturers such as AMD and Intel. ARM silicon is commonly used in special deployments such as servers, but chip designs are now appearing in consumer products.
For example, Apple introduced the M1 chip in its Late-2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini models. The tech giant plans a full lineup of Mac computers to run on custom ARM chips within two years. This presents an immediate loss in revenue for current CPU partner Intel, but also creates a headwind for the wider x86 market.
Su was asked how the M1 would affect AMD’s relationship with Apple.
“M1 is more about how much processing and innovation there is in the market. This is an opportunity to innovate more in both hardware and software, and it goes beyond ISA,” Su said. “From our point of view, there is still innovation in the PC space – we have a lot of options and people can use the same processor in very different environments. We expect that as we move forward in the next few years Will see more expertise. And it enables more differentiation. But Apple continues to work with us as our graphics partner, and we work with them. “
Apple relies on AMD’s Radon graphics card to power high-end devices such as the MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro, but this may change with changes to in-house solutions. The M1 integrates tile-based differed rendering (TBDR) graphics cores on a system-on-chip design similar to the A-series processors used on Macs and iPads.
Although the Apple M1 is content to stick with integrated graphics for the initial wave of Macs, it’s possible that the company is working toward a dedicated GPU to better serve high-performance machines.
Apple’s transition to ARM appears to stress the industry’s inclinations. On Monday, Intel detailed its upcoming Elder Lake chip series, which seemingly pulled a page from Apple Silicon Strategy’s book by pulling use cases from mobile to desktop.