Ever since Apple first unveiled the iPad, we’ve been hearing rumors about Apple switching to ARM-based Macs. Now, the rumor is back again, with a French website claiming that Apple is actively developing 64-bit, quad-core Mac variants with ARM-based chips. But we’re just as skeptical as we’ve ever been.
If that seems like a disorganized, chaotic response, you’re right. But there’s a reason for that. According to a new report, Apple’s unveiling of the 64-bit A7 chip took the entire semiconductor industry with their pants down… and everyone’s now scrambling to catch up.
Every once and a while, someone suggests that Apple will eventually migrate OS X over to ARM, and the A7 processor’s move to 64-bit has reopened that rumor yet again. As we’ve explained before, they almost definitely won’t, but the rumor persists nonetheless.
It’s interesting, then, to see a different variation on this rumor. According to a Barclays Capital analyst, Apple doesn’t intend to put ARM chips in every MacBook… they want to make iPads into notebooks as alternatives to Macs.
When last we heard about Apple’s 64-bit aspirations, a notable CPU designer was saying that Apple couldn’t outrun Moore’s Law, and that the earliest Cupertino would manage to swing a 64-bit A7 processor was by 2014.
According to a new report by Fox News reporter Clayton Morris, though, Cupertino might have been juicing. A 64-bit A7 processor could be included in the iPhone 5S.
A lot has been said and rumored lately about whether or not Intel would ever start making ARM-based chips. Current Intel CEO Paul Otellini was against it, but Otellini is stepping down this month, so ultimately the question was: “What would Intel’s next CEO think about making some ARM chips for partners like Apple?”
Ultimately, how the next CEO of Intel would feel about that prospect came down to whether or not he was promoted from within Intel (as all of Intel’s CEOs ever have been) or if he came from outside the company. What made the question of who Intel’s next CEO would be so interesting is that Intel’s board of directors was, for the first time ever, openly talking about looking outside of the company. Intel could have gained a much different perspective.
Although PC makers are feeling the pinch, Intel actually posted a surprisingly decent quarter yesterday. But Intel’s still feeling a big pinch from ARM, which is just showing explosive growth, shipping 35% more ARM-based chips (like, yes, Apple’s A-series SoCs) than it did a year ago.
Warren East, who has spent the last 12 years as CEO of ARM, has announced that he will retire on July 1. During his time in charge, East has overseen ARM’s processor design powerhouse through some of its most explosive growth, thanks to lucrative deals with companies like Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm.
Intel and Apple, teaming up to make A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad? That’s what the rumors are saying, with a recent Reuters report going so far as to claim that executives from both companies have actually met to discuss the possibility of the x86 maker pumping out ARM chips custom designed by Apple!
“Intel Once Again Rumored To Be Working On iOS Device Chips With Apple,” read our headline this morning. But would Intel really cash in on its x86 heritage to make ARM chips? And if Apple did switch, would that really be a win for everyone?
The short answer? Yes, Intel would make ARM chips for Apple. But no, it probably wouldn’t be a win for either company. Here’s why.
Apple has been using Intel’s desktop processors in the Mac since 2005. The next-gen Haswell processor is expected to come in the next iteration of the iMac.
For years, a reoccurring rumor has been that Intel will eventually provide mobile processors for iOS devices. But Apple has been designing its own ‘A series’ of chips for the iPhone and iPad based on ARM. Would Apple really abandon what it’s doing on ARM for Intel, a chip maker that’s been really struggling on mobile?
Now another report claims that Apple and Intel have recently discussed a mobile partnership.