Apple Replaces Last Remaining Intel-Made Component in M2 MacBook Air

In the M2 MacBook Air, Apple has replaced an Intel-made component responsible for controlling the USB and Thunderbolt ports with a custom-made controller, meaning the last remnants of Intel are now fully out of the latest Mac.

M2 MacBook Air 2022 Feature0008
Earlier this month, the repair website iFixit shared a teardown of the new ‌MacBook Air‌, revealing a look inside the completely redesigned machine. One subtle detail that went largely unnoticed was that unlike previous Macs, the latest ‌MacBook Air‌ introduces custom-made controllers for the USB and Thunderbolt ports.

iFixit mentioned it in their report, noting they located a "seemingly Apple-made Thunderbolt 3 driver, instead of the Intel chips we're familiar with." The new component was shared on Twitter earlier today, where it received more attention.

Few details are known about the controllers, including whether they're custom-made by Apple or a third party. In May 2021, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple planned to "replace the last remaining Intel part with an in-house version. Apple's current M1 Macs still use an Intel component known as a USB Retimer, which helps power the USB-C and Thunderbolt ports on its computer."

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Neutral)
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

Manzanito Avatar
7 months ago

Take note: Pat Gelsinger. Their ain't no going back, Apple's business is forever lost to Intel!
Nonsense. Businesses don’t work like that, if it makes sense for both companies, they’ll work together in the future.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peteyD Avatar
7 months ago

Nonsense. Businesses don’t work like that, if it makes sense for both companies, they’ll work together in the future.
There is no place on the internet for grown up comments like this.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darngooddesign Avatar
7 months ago
That's what Intel gets for releasing chump chips instead of innovating.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nicole1980 Avatar
7 months ago

Wonder how the tech world will change should Intel go bust. Ain’t gonna happen in short term of course, and Intel isn’t sitting duck either.

With that being said, now Apple everything in the Mac is fully self-designed, lets See how much jump apple can make on M3.
I actually don't think we'll see big leaps with the Mx architecture anymore. The big transformational change was the M1, so I think now we'll see the same basic 10-20% increases (at best) with each new chip release.

People were always squawking when Intel was only making a 12% increase with any new chip and now we're probably going to see the same pace with Apple's silicon.

Mind you, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, and the Mx is fantastic. I just don't think you'll see anything close to the huge jump again like we did from Intel to the M1.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
repoman27 Avatar
27 weeks ago
To clarify, the Thunderbolt/USB4 host controller and PHY are integrated into the M1/M2 SoC and are based on Synopsys DesignWare IP ('https://www.synopsys.com/designware-ip/interface-ip/usb/usb4.html'). The Intel JHL8040R ('https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/186251/intel-jhl8040r-thunderbolt-4-retimer.html') is just a Thunderbolt 4 retimer chip. The M2 version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro also uses the new U09PY3 retimer. iFixit missed that, but competitive analysis firm TechanaLye noticed it ('https://eetimes.itmedia.co.jp/ee/articles/2207/21/news031.html') and has already opened the chip and reported on their findings.

Nobody has publicly reported whether the U09PY3 is a semi-custom offering from a third party supplier, or if it was developed in-house by Apple. The latter strikes me as unlikely, because it's an odd component to dedicate resources to when third-party solutions are already available from long-time Apple supplier Parade ('https://www.paradetech.com/products/ps8830/') and recent startup Kandou ('https://kandou.com/matterhorn.html').
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ProfessionalFan Avatar
7 months ago

Wonder how long it will take Apple to get the new chips to work correctly given their current strategy of release for the keynote and make it work later when complaints arise.
What's wrong with M2 currently?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
iOS 16

When Will the iOS 16.4 Beta Be Released?

Wednesday February 1, 2023 11:09 am PST by
It's been more than a week since Apple released the iOS 16.3 update, and typically, new iOS betas follow launches within a day or so. We were expecting Apple to provide the first beta iOS 16.4 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but that hasn't happened. Tuesdays are the days that we most often see betas, though Monday and Wednesday happen now and then, and most often betas come...