Uh Oh! Key M1 Mac Engineer Transitions from Apple to Intel

Apple's Lineup of M1 SoCs
Apple’s Lineup of M1 SoCs for Macs; Image: Apple

If you want to hear something interesting from this week, this is the story for you. Jeff Wilcox, who’s the former Director of Mac System Architecture, has announced that he has departed Apple to start a new position at Intel. Interesting enough, he had an essential part in Apple’s ongoing transition from Intel chips to Apple Silicon. In fact, he was behind the development of the M1 chip.


The bad-blood relationship between Apple and Intel started in the 1990s where Apple poked fun at Intel for offering power-hungry, yet slower processors compared to the PowerPC chips that Apple had used. Fast forward to 2005, Apple announced in WWDC that it will transition its Macs to Intel processors. The biggest reason was that Intel offered much better performance per watt, which is crucial for notebooks with battery life.

As Apple had used Intel processors for its Macs, it seemed like all was forgiven until around 2016. In the world of technology, nothing stays the same forever as history repeated itself. Intel was facing several delays in their processor development. What’s even worst is that those processors would thermal-throttled in Apple’s notebooks. Because of the engineering feat in Apple’s own silicon for iPhone/iPad, this prompted Apple to make the switch for its own lineup of Macs. So in WWDC 2020, Apple announced this transition.

Apple’s Future Products for 2022

Currently all of the notebooks have moved to Apple Silicon, and we can expect the transition to finish this year with the higher-end Mac mini, 27-inch iMac, and Mac Pro.

The Future of Intel

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said that he hoped to win Apple’s business in the future by creating a chip that’s more advanced than what Apple can make. As a matter in fact, the company has introduced a new Core i9 processor this week at CES. Unsurprisingly, the company claimed that it’s even faster than the Apple’s M1 Max chip. Nonetheless, Apple is definitely making advancements to its own silicon.

Fun fact: Wilcox wasn’t the only person who betrayed Apple by switching to Intel. Remember Justin Long from Apple’s Get-a-Mac ad series that promotes Intel Macs? Apparently, he’s joining Intel’s side to campaign against Macs as those machines move to Apple Silicon. What an ironic way to get back at Apple!

What are your thoughts on this interesting story? Let us know in the comments below.


Nick Soong
Author: Nick Soong

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