Future Macs won’t run on silicon chips

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Future Macs won't run on silicon chips. Photo: Intel

Intel’s Broadwell chips are late. The 14-nanometer wafers, which are believed to be integral to the much-rumored Retina MacBook Air, are due soon, but still not here.

But Intel’s already looking forward. At this week’s 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the chipmaker will announce a switch to a 10-nanometer process by early 2017 and to 7-nanometer chips shortly thereafter … a transition that means your Mac’s guts will soon no longer be made out of silicon, but another material entirely.

Intel CEO says he’s not worried about Apple ditching them for ARM

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Rumors that Apple might ditch Intel chips in the Mac for ARM-based chips of their own design are nothing new. Back in 2012, we reported that Apple would soon be dropping Intel chips from all their Macs. And earlier this year, ex-Apple-executive Jean-Louis Gassée claimed that he thought Apple would soon ditch Intel too. Heck, even Intel has said in the past it considered Apple switching to ARM on the desktop to be a very real and scary threat. Yet it still hasn’t happened. So far, it’s the rumor equivalent of the Apple HDTV: even though it endlessly comes up in the news cycle, it still hasn’t happened.

Even so, when usually accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities issued a note last week saying that Apple would fully switch from Intel to ARM by 2016, it caused a ruckus. People took the rumor more seriously than most, just based on Kuo’s amazing track record. But according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, he’s not worried. But he’s also not denying it’s a possibility.