Intel Vs AMD Vs Apple In 2021: A New Wave Of Competition Among Chip Makers


Just a year ago, Apple used to depend on Intel and AMD to make their most powerful MacBook Pros, iMac, and Mac Pro. However, this all changed last year, when Apple announced that it is completely shifting its portfolio to Apple Silicon with the launch of MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Intel Vs AMD Vs Apple In 2021

From that point onwards, Apple has been slowly and steadily replacing Intel CPUs and AMD GPUs with in-house Apple Silicon processors. Currently, each of these brands is working hard to make some of the best chips to stay relevant in the industry. Here are some of the major updates that happened in the chip industry in 2021.

Do note that, even though all three brands design their own chips, Intel is the only brand that manufactures its chips, while brands like AMD and Apple are dependent on third-party fabs like TSMC to get their silicon manufactured.

The Peak Of Global Chip Shortage

The sudden onset demand for consumer PCs due to COVID-19 lockdown was one of the prime reasons for the global chip shortage. Processors fabs were not able to fulfill the sudden surge in demand for processors, which increased the cost of the processors, thus directly hurting the customers.

Intel In 2021

Intel In 2021

Intel launched the 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs in 2021. After many years, the company was finally able to compete against AMD from a pricing and performance perspective. With the 12th Gen Intel CPUs, the company also introduced technologies like DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5.

Given how Intel lost one of their main customer, Apple, it was high time for Intel to show that it is still one of the best in the business and the Alder Lake series just did that. The hybrid CPU architecture with a combination of E-cores and P-cores offered the best single-thread and multi-thread performance.

AMD In 2021

AMD In 2021

Though AMD didn't launch any new major CPU, as they announced the Zen 3 series of CPUs in late 2020, the company did announce a couple of APUs with integrated graphics. Just like Intel, AMD partnered with several OEMs to launch laptops powered by AMD CPU and some of them even offered AMD GPU.

AMD also showcased yet to announce V-Cache technology, which is said to improve performance by 15 percent without any architectural change on the Zen 3 CPUs. The first set of AMD Zen 3 CPUs with V-Cache technology is expected to launch by early 2022.

Apple In 2021

Apple In 2021

Apple launched products like iPad Pro and iMac based on the same Apple Silicon M1 processor in 2021. Then, the company introduced the two most powerful MacBook Pros based on the new Apple Silicon M1 Pro and Apple Silicon M1 Max processors.

With this, Apple is no more dependent on either Intel or AMD. And reviews have also confirmed that the new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops are as powerful as their Windows counterparts. Apple now makes software, hardware, and silicon for their Mac line of products.

Competition Mounts On All Three Brands

It has now become evident that Intel, AMD, and Apple are dedicated to make their best possible products to stay relevant. With one misstep or one bad product lineup, the competition will take over. Hence, all three brands are working hard to design chips that deliver excellent performance and power efficiency.

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