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Apple developing ARM-based alternative for Intel CPUs in its Macs

Posted on Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 18:37:57 CET by

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We've already came across some reports that Apple is considering to replace the Intel processors in its Mac computers with a self-made chip, and now Bloomberg heard from its sources that Apple is indeed exploring such a switch. Seven years ago Apple ditched IBM's PowerPC to adopt Intel's x86 processors, and now the rumor is that Apple plans to equip future versions of its Mac desktop and laptop computers with ARM-based processors. Such a switch isn't anticipated to occur until several years in the future, and it's doubtful whether it's even possible as it seems unlikely that an ARM-based solution will be able to offer performance that's competitive versus an Intel-based platform.
Intel helped allay some of Apple’s most pressing concerns when it announced that it would develop chips that don’t require as much power as existing chips, this person said. That pledge to prioritize power conservation led some within Apple to conclude the company has a few years before it would need to make any change, if it makes a switch at all, this person said.

And if Apple can’t design ARM-based chips that are far more powerful than current models, the company would probably need to stay with Intel to satisfy Mac power users, who need lots of computing performance for tasks such as developing software or doing high-end graphics.

“This is a geek technical issue, but the ultimate question is could Apple keep up with what Intel is doing in terms of speed and graphics?” said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies Inc. “At this moment, I’m not sure.”



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