Apple is reportedly planning (or at least considering) to drop Intel from its Macintosh computers as its custom-designed mobile chips are becoming more and more powerful, while the Macs themselves are starting to look like the iPhone and iPad.
People familiar with Apple’s research are telling Bloomberg
reporters that Apple is looking at its options to push Intel out of the Mac, making room for ARM-based chips that will one day run OS X.
Apple aiming to implement a version of the chip technology used in iPhones and iPads is not a new rumor, but it is picking up steam again, thanks to Tim Cook’s executive reshuffling at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California.
The company’s engineers are said to have “grown confident” that chips like the A6X (found in the latest iPad) “will one day be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops,” according to the publication citing three anonymous sources with knowledge of the work.
Apple’s latest efforts to make the iMac thinner and smaller without sacrificing performance are regarded as a clear indication that the company is further unifying its product lineup, this time bringing achievements from the mobile world back to the desktop,
One person reportedly added that Apple is “aiming to move computing tasks that now require separate parts into the central chip,” which is exactly what the company is doing with its A6X SoC (system on a chip).
Furthermore, this person reportedly said, such initiatives have “long been an interest of [Bob] Mansfield’s,” Apple’s newly-instated chief of Technologies.
Apple is believed to tap contract manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to build the next generation of Apple-designed chips for the Mac, based on ARM’s technology.
Currently, though, Samsung Electronics in South Korea is the sole manufacturer of custom chips for Apple.
However, Apple’s huge cash hoard will ultimately help CEO Tim Cook tap any new supplier he wants, according to the report.