Apple considering ARM chips for future MacBooks

first_imgAt the moment Apple splits its processor usage between an ARM solution for portable gadgets and Intel solution for desktops and laptops. But SemiAccurate has been told that may change in the future with Apple considering moving its laptops over to an ARM processor, which inevitably leads to the question of whether desktops will follow too?Such a move would be a blow for Intel, but could benefit Apple due to the very low power requirements of ARM chips. That in turn would allow for a gain in battery life while a performance comparison with Intel chips would have to wait until such a laptop appeared on the market.If this is going to happen, then it’s not expected until very late 2012 or early 2013 when ARM chips are going to get full 64-bit cores. At that point we will be a few generations on in both the iPhone and iPad categories, and Apple will have a few new AX chips under their belts.Whether SemiAccurate’s source is correct or not, we won’t know for sure until Apple decides to talk about it, which is usually at the launch of a new product.Read more at SemiAccurateMatthew’s Opinion18-20 months is a very long time in the chip industry, and what holds true today may be very different come 2013. By then we will have a version of Windows on the market that supports ARM processors. That also means we will have hardware on the market running Windows on ARM such as netbooks and possibly laptops. So in that respect an ARM-powered Apple laptop is not unlikely in 2013.Intel isn’t standing still though, and its recently announced Tri-Gate 3D transistor could be a significant turning point in the future of processor design. Intel is promising bold performance gains and more than 50% power savings in Core processors arriving by the end of this year using Tri-Gate. Further development of those chips will happen by 2013 potentially putting Intel in a very desirable position next to ARM in the low-power, high-performance category.Apple will ultimately select the best processor at the time they wish to release an update. This growing battle between ARM and Intel in the mobile sector, and soon in the desktop sector too, is going to benefit Apple in the long run. It might even be a difficult choice come mid-2012 when a final decision to go with ARM or Intel will most likely be made.last_img read more