Several months ago Ryan Shrout published an article about how NVIDIA will invade the Apple MacBook this year and according to a new post over at Apple Insider he was right.
The Apple rumour site claims they've received confirmation from people familiar with the matter that, at a minimum, the 13" MacBook systems will adopt the new MCP79 chipset from NVIDIA.
Kept uncharacteristically secret by NVIDIA for most of the year, the MCP79 platform is so far considered a substitute for Intel's Centrino 2 "Montevina" platform, offering support for the same 1066MHz front side bus, optional DDR3 memory and PCI Express 2.0 interfaces.
Several advantages may tip the balance in favor of the new platform, however. From a physical design perspective, one of the most important factors is NVIDIA's consolidation of all the controller features into a single chip rather than the two necessary for Intel's current architecture. This reduces the total footprint needed for the mainboard in normally tight notebook enclosures.
It will also sport proprietary NVIDIA features such as DriveCache, which uses flash storage to speed up loading times, and Hybrid SLI, which switches from discrete to integrated graphics to increase battery life in low-demand situations. It's not known whether Apple will make use of any or all of these technologies, however.
The greatest leap, though, will come from NVIDIA's expertise in graphics.
The NVIDIA MCP79 offers several benefits for Apple: it's a single-chip solution, it features much faster integrated graphics than any Intel chipset and it has Hybrid SLI support.