Apple ditching Intel for ARM in future MacBooks tip insiders

May 6, 2011
15

Apple is reportedly planning to ditch Intel's processors for ARM-based chips, a potentially huge revolution that will supposedly kick off with the company's MacBook notebooks. According to SemiAccurate's sources, Apple is looking to a mid-2013 timescale for the transition, when 64-bit cores such as NVIDIA's Project Denver are common.

The insiders reckon Intel isn't aware of Apple's intentions - which are believed to be kicking off with the MacBook and MacBook Pro line, and then likely continuing over to the company's desktop range - but that Apple is currently hunting down fab capacity with potential partners like Global Foundries, Samsung and TSMC. It's not known at this stage as to whether Apple will use a generic ARM core, a Samsung design - as per the Apple A4 - or a core of its own devising, though it's speculated that the former is most likely to begin with. Apple could then gradually develop its own unique chips, further differentiating Macs from their PC counterparts.

According to SemiAccurate, their sources previously - and correctly - leaked Apple's switch from NVIDIA to AMD graphics chips, as well as other information. ARM's processors are certainly rising in prominence, with recent reports suggesting they would be in 13-percent of computers by 2015. If this Apple switch pans out, that proportion could be even higher.

Ironically, rumors earlier this month suggested that Intel might be in line to provide chips for future iPad and iPhone devices.


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