An outline of the Apple’s CPU for PC has been revealed.
It has been confirmed that OSAT companies in the U.S. and China, which have their own branches in South Korea, are developing the new package. It is predicted that Apple’s own CPU will be used for MacPC by 2020. Apple is already using its own chips for their smartphones and tablets.
According to the industry on the 14th, JCET Stats Chip Pac Korea has been developing the CPU packages for Pcs since the first half of this year as Apple requested.
Following is the design of the CPU. CPU and Ball Grid Array (BGA) type DRAM are installed in the center of the package board. After placing the CPU and BGA Type D Ram, a product from Japanese Ramix will be used as under-film material for insulation of the bottom electrode. Metal covers that go on top of the package will be selected from either Dow or Shinetsu. Shinetsu has a high chance of being selected.
In the case of Application Processor (AP) for smartphones, the area of the chip is small, so Package On Package (PoP) method, which stacks DRAMs, have been utilized. However, due to the relatively large are of chips for PCs, a 2.5D package method is used as to efficiently release heat. Unlike CPU for PCs, which have the DRAM outside, speed of transferring and receiving data improves as the DRAM is placed inside the chip package. The industry predicts that High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM will be most likely be adopted into the package. In this case, the speed of data calculation will be even higher.
Amkor Korea, which is headquartered in the U.S., is reportedly developing the same type of package as JCET Stats Chip Pac Korea has been working on. Starting from next year, the two companies are planning to mass-produce them. It is estimated that Taiwan’s TSMC will be in charge of the whole wafer process.
Bloomberg previously announced that MacPC plans to use a self-developed processor instead of Intel beginning in early April 2020. According to the report, the title of the development code for the process for Apple PC is ‘Kalamata’.
Apple is pushing for the integration of software (SW) for all devices from smartphones to tablets and PCs. This development of the PC processor is part of these plans. This means the operating environment of iPhone, iPad, and Mac will be identical. Apple has been changing its MacPc processor to Motorola 68k, IBM Power PC, and Intel x86. If Apple loads its own CPU on MacPc, Intel will be a victim of this change. Although percentage of sales is not significant, Apple’s ‘symbolic’ status in the premium PC market cannot be ignored. This also indicates that other companies would leave Intel as well.
An industry insider said, “If Apple’s strategy of developing their own PC chip succeeds, there is a high possibility that other companies would consider carrying CPU with ARM’s architecture. Qualcomm is planning ARM type processors to target the PC market.”