Apple has been cleansing its Mac computers of rival silicon for quite some time and has now transitioned from a diet Intel solution to truly Intel free. Intel USB4 timer chips were the last influence team blue had on modern Macbooks since the two companies let their 15-year partnership dissolve in 2020, and Apple’s latest M2-powered laptops no longer include Intel’s solution.
Without an official statement on the change, it’s difficult to know exactly when Apple removed the final piece of Intel from the innards of its devices. It was first noticed by the repair specialists at iFixIt, who shrewdly observed that the USB4 codename had switched from ‘JHL8040R Retimer’ to ‘‘U09PY3’. There’s no telling what brand Apple has switched to or whether it’s now handling things in-house, but SkyJuice states that it’s a custom solution.
It’s the same story over on team red, as the Twitter user also notes that AMD Rembrandt laptops have also avoided going the Intel route. Instead, the USB4 chips inside the latest portable Ryzen devices are dubbed ‘Matterhorn’ and come from Swiss startup Kandou.
Will this Intel change affect you?
Possibly, depending on the laptop you want.
On one hand, Intel has given consent for third parties to use Thunderbolt 3 in their own USB4 solution. They’re virtually identical with a similar top speed and the same reversable USB Type-C connector. On the other, it isn’t mandatory to include this support and the responsibility rests on the individual manufacturer.
Thunderbolt 3 is important for gamers that want to upgrade their laptop with an external GPU. Considering Apple products are getting in the gaming space, rivaling flagship CPUs and announcing its XeSS and DLSS rival, a lack of compatibility could spell disaster for some. The same goes for those looking into AMD solutions, so make sure you do your research before taking a bite out of your bank account.