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Apple Executives Johny Srouji And John Ternus Talk About Chips, AI And Innovation

von CNBC     Aktualisiert Jan 31, 2024

A deep dive into the minds behind Apple's leading technology, Johny Srouji and John Ternus, discussing their approach to chip design, artificial intelligence, and ongoing innovation at Apple.

1. The Integration of Apple Silicon in Product Innovation

Johny Srouji reflects on his journey with Apple since 2008, where he started with the intent to build Apple's own silicon for the iPhone. He notes the immense growth from a small team of engineers to a world-class team dedicated to creating the best chips for Apple products.

John Ternus emphasizes the close partnership between the hardware and silicon teams at Apple. This collaboration is rooted in their integrated product strategy, where hardware is not built around existing technologies but custom-designed chips enabling the realization of Apple's vision.

Highlighting the unique position of Apple, they insist on the importance of building chips that are tailor-made for Apple’s products, leading to unparalleled power efficiency and a feature set that enhances the customer experience without any need for compromise.

2. Navigating the Chip Shortage and Future Production

Amid a global chip shortage that has emphasized the world's reliance on digital technology, Srouji and Ternus discuss how Apple's internal chip design capabilities may have provided some insulation against such shortages.

They express excitement about the Arizona Project and how Apple has always valued diversifying the production of advanced chips across Asia, Europe, and the US, aligning with the company's strategy for ensuring continuity and resilience.

While acknowledging the risks associated with being first to market with new technologies, like their three-nanometer chip, they maintain that careful planning, strategic partnerships with foundries, and the expertise of their in-house design teams are key to mitigating these risks.

3. Apple's Stance on AI and the Future of Computing

Apple's senior executives touch on the company's significant investments in AI technology and how their computing chips, including CPU, GPU, and Neural Engines, are optimized for machine learning tasks.

While avoiding specifics about future plans, they hint at a powerful existing platform capable of generative AI, showcasing their confidence in Apple's current capabilities in this domain.

Despite external criticism and the rapidly evolving AI landscape, they express unworrying assurance in their strategy, rooted in Apple's integration of silicon, hardware, and software, allowing for optimal performance and innovative customer experiences.

4. Public Sentiment on Apple's Approach to Chip Design and AI

Some individuals seem to misunderstand Apple's core business, mistaking it for a chip company, while others are attuned to Apple’s product-driven focus where chips are a means to enhance the user experience rather than the end goal.

While there is skepticism and concerns about everything from potential overheating issues to AI development lagging behind rivals, there remains a great deal of trust and anticipation in Apple's secretive but evidently forward-thinking roadmap.

Narratives range from conspiracy theories casting doubt on Apple's intentions to suggestions for future product improvements such as more efficient use of materials and dedicated AI chips, reflecting a diverse set of expectations and projections from the public.

5. Suggestions and Speculations from the Public

Comments from the public reveal a mix of humor, skepticism, and excitement about Apple's direction, with various ideas being floated, from new materials for SoC design to the development of in-house cellular chips.

Some highlight the environmental potential of reducing the amount of precious metals used in chips and suggest Apple could work on AI chips that require less RAM or even GPU resources.

There's a sense of curiosity about Apple's in-house technology progress, with ponderings about when an in-house modem or even GPS, accelerometer, and gyro sensors would materialize, indicating a vested interest in Apple's continuous innovation.


Johny Srouji and John Ternus, Apple's senior VPs of Hardware Technologies and Hardware Engineering respectively, highlight the seamless partnership between hardware and software at Apple. They emphasize the company's unique integrated product philosophy, discussing the journey from starting with a small team to leading a global effort for in-house silicon design. Despite the challenges of a shifting technological landscape and the need for industry-leading innovations, they maintain that their singular focus is on enabling the best products, not solely on creating chips.