A to AI: How Apple is Fabricating Its Hardware Future on Silicon

At the heart of hardware revolution lies Apple's strategic embrace of silicon, a material that is not just the building block but the very soul of its iconic devices.


In a recent in-depth CNBC interview, two key figures behind Apple’s technological prowess, Johny Srouji, Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies, and John Ternus, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, provided a comprehensive overview of Apple’s groundbreaking approach to designing and manufacturing future on Silicon. This conversation not only highlighted the intricacies of hardware, software, and semiconductor integration but also underscored Apple’s commitment to delivering unparalleled products to its customers.

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The Silicon Advantage:

Srouji expounded on the profound shift within Apple over the last two decades, emphasizing the establishment of the Silicon team as a strategic move. This internal team was purposefully created to consolidate hardware, silicon, and software expertise under one umbrella. This innovative approach allows Apple to move beyond generic, off-the-shelf chips, empowering the company to craft silicon specifically tailored to the nuances of its hardware and software ecosystem.

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Apple’s M3 Chip Series and TSMC Partnership:

Addressing concerns about advanced capacity, Srouji exuded confidence in TSMC’s ability to meet Apple’s demanding scale and volume requirements. He specifically highlighted the prowess of the latest M3 chip family—M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max—manufactured using TSMC’s cutting-edge 3nm process. The partnership with TSMC, spanning over a decade, was characterized as indispensable due to TSMC’s advanced transistor technology, unwavering execution, and scalability in alignment with Apple’s evolving needs.

Diversification and Global Supply Chain:

Srouji underscored the strategic importance of maintaining a diversified supply chain, extending across Asia, Europe, and the US. Commending TSMC’s decision to build fabs in Arizona, he acknowledged that other industry players, including Samsung, are also expanding their footprint in the US. While diversification remains a priority, Srouji reiterated that the primary focus is on securing the best technology and scalability. Apple remains open to exploring partnerships beyond Taiwan if a foundry meets its exacting standards.

Contingency Planning Amid Geopolitical Tensions:

Pressed on the potential impact of geopolitical events, such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, on Apple’s supply chain, Srouji offered a guarded response. While refraining from divulging specific details, he reassured stakeholders that Apple consistently anticipates future scenarios, strategically plans, and exercises careful foresight, alluding to the company’s commitment to maintaining operational continuity.

Managing Risks with Advanced Nodes:

Acknowledging the inherent risks associated with advanced semiconductor nodes, Srouji delved into the complexity of both the semiconductor designs and the manufacturing process. He emphasized the necessity for close collaboration between Apple’s design and TSMC’s foundry teams. Srouji underscored the unforgiving nature of silicon design, where even a late-found bug can have far-reaching implications, necessitating meticulous planning and execution.

Insights into Apple’s Silicon Team:

Srouji provided a glimpse into the magnitude of Apple’s investment in silicon design, revealing the presence of thousands of engineers dedicated to this pivotal aspect of innovation. This revelation underscores Apple’s unwavering commitment to pushing the technological envelope, ensuring not only the seamless integration of hardware and software but also the continued evolution of its products.

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Apple’s venture into in-house silicon design stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation, integration, and strategic planning. The interview with Srouji and Ternus offers invaluable insights into the meticulous approach that underpins Apple’s technological advancements. As Apple continues to pioneer new horizons, the synergy between hardware, software, and cutting-edge semiconductor technology ensures that Apple products remain at the forefront of technological excellence, setting the bar for the entire industry.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
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