Apple reportedly has a secret laboratory in Oregon, where work has already started on custom Mac processors that will replace the Intel chips currently found in the computers.
Apple's plan to drop Intel chips, named Project Kalamata, is expected to start in 2020. If the rumors are true, it looks like Apple is already starting to develop its own processors.
Apple Secret Lab Quietly Opens In Oregon
According to The Oregonian, Apple has quietly opened a secret hardware engineering laboratory in Oregon. The company has hired nearly two dozen people who are former employees of Intel and other tech companies in the area, according to job listings, social media accounts, and a source familiar with the recruiting efforts of Apple. Hiring started since November, with a number of employees once holding senior engineering or research roles in Intel.
Apple, as with many of its research initiatives such as Project Titan, remains very secretive with its plans for the secret lab in Oregon. As such, it is unclear how many employees Apple is looking to hire, what are the products that the employees in the facility will work on, and where is the exact location of the laboratory.
Sources, however, believe that the facility is located near the border of Beaverton and Hillsboro, closer to the hardware hub of Oregon than the software companies in Portland, but it does not have the same design as a major Apple campus.
All of these factors combined strongly suggest that Apple will be working on computer processors in Oregon, as the company embarks on the early stages of Project Kalamata.
How Will Apple Benefit From Project Kalamata?
Under Project Kalamata, Apple will use its own custom chips as early as 2020.
The move away from third-party suppliers such as Intel will help reduce internal costs and give Apple more oversight and control over the manufacturing process of Mac computers.
Originally, Apple was planning to add a "Power Nap" chip to Intel processors, but now, the long-term plan is to drop Intel as a supplier completely.
The Intel chips are one of the few major components inside a Mac that is not designed or manufactured by Apple. In comparison, other Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch use custom processors.
Intel, however, should be worried with the direction that Apple is taking. Its partnership with Apple is a big reason why Intel is one of the leaders in the industry, with Apple responsible for 5 percent of its annual revenue.