Feeds

Apple to ditch Intel – report

Here we go again

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Apple may dump Intel as its CPU supplier for the Mac, reports Bloomberg.

The newswire quotes “people familiar with the company’s research” as saying Apple is “exploring ways” to use its own silicon in future Macs, as it has become frustrated with Intel’s inability to deliver chips that can be built into thin and light devices. Cross-platform integration is also said to be an issue Apple would like to tackle, the report says, paraphrasing one of three sources as saying Cupertino thinks it can make better products if all are based on the same silicon.

A move away from Intel would be stunning, given that it was only in 2005 that the fruity company proclaimed its decision to go with Chipzilla as a long-overdue and epoch-making partnership. Apple has since said very nice things about Intel’s chips and their ability to make Macs go very fast.

But since that 2005 tie-up with Intel, Apple acquired P.A. Semi and turned its technology into the Ax microprocessor range. Those chips now ship in the tens of millions, thanks to their presence in iPhones and iPads, products that dwarf Apple’s iMac business.

One can therefore imagine that Cupertino likes the idea of using its own silicon, instead of shipping cash to Intel.

Last week, CEO Tim Cook also reminded the world of Apple’s fondness for total control of its products by saying, in the announcement he was booting Scott Forstall out the door, that Apple products are “… the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services.”

Any move away from Intel CPUs would almost certainly be a colossal hassle for Mac owners, given the enormous installed base of applications for Chipzilla’s kit. Compatibility issues would doubtless challenge even Apple’s usual mania for perfection (maps aside).

Yet if anyone can pull it off, Apple can as it has more experience than most in asking its users to walk away from old operating systems. In 1991 the company abandoned backwards-compatibility by introducing System 7. The 2005 shift to Intel imposed a similar burden on Mac owners whose computers ran Power chips.

If the rumour is true, it means Apple must be confident it can scale its Ax line to considerably greater heights.

Mac-using Photoshop fans won’t tolerate slower processing times, but the most recent Apple CPU, the A6x, is said to offer a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor alongside a slowish quad-core GPU.

Faster speeds and meatier specs would be needed to get the Ax line into the game on PCs, unless Apple has something extraordinary up its sleeve. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.