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TSMC CEO C. C. Wei, center, at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Taiwan in 2020. Photo by Bloomberg

Apple’s Latest Chip Could Help TSMC Gain an Edge on Intel in New Battleground

By  |  March 15, 2022 10:28 AM PDT
Photo: TSMC CEO C. C. Wei, center, at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Taiwan in 2020. Photo by Bloomberg

When Apple Inc. introduced its newest computer last week—a boxy desktop machine called Mac Studio—the star of the show was the powerful chip at the heart of it.

But that chip, the M1 Ultra, isn’t new at all. It consists of two existing Apple chips—the M1 Max, which powers Apple’s high-end MacBook Pro laptops—stitched together to get better performance. The biggest technical advance inside the M1 Ultra is the technology used to do the stitching—an innovation that could be bad news for the comeback of one of the world’s most iconic chipmakers, Intel Corp.

While Apple gave its chip-to-chip connection a snappy in-house marketing name, UltraFusion, analysts believe it relies heavily on an underlying process developed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Apple’s longtime manufacturing partner for the Apple-designed chips at the heart of iPhones, iPads and Macs.

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