Next-gen MacBooks to drop Intel chipsets?

During its latest financial conference call, Apple said it expects lower margins this fiscal quarter because of a “product transition.” Apple rumor sites have kicked into full swing trying to figure out what that transition will entail, and we recently heard a report Apple is cooking up an expensive-to-produce “MacBook touch”—supposedly a system not unlike a giant iPhone.

AppleInsider has now written about another possibility. In the site’s own words, Apple’s next generation of Macs “may sport some of the most significant architectural changes since the Mac maker made the jump from PowerPC [to x86 processor architectures].” Citing sources familiar with future Apple products, AppleInsider claims the upcoming MacBook refresh won’t be based on Intel’s Centrino 2 platform and chipsets. Rather, the chipset may come from either Apple itself or a third party, such as AMD or Nvidia.

Meanwhile, the folks at ComputerWorld have gotten wind of more general details about future MacBooks. The systems will reportedly be thinner than current offerings, and they’ll feature one-piece aluminum enclosures as well as glass trackpads. ComputerWorld expects Apple to introduce the new-and-improved MacBooks in late September.

Comments closed
    • Stijn
    • 11 years ago

    l[

    • evermore
    • 11 years ago

    ItaniumBook!
    BabbageBook!*

    *Product not shown to scale. Actual performance may vary. Pack mule sold separately.

      • nerdrage
      • 11 years ago

      *lol* You forgot one:

      *Batteries not -[

    • Thresher
    • 11 years ago

    Folks don’t seem to remember that Apple used to design its own motherboards when they used the PowerPC platform. They still have a helluva lot of engineers that they can put on it. They have no need to use an intel chipset or an nVidia chipset for that matter.

    That being said, they will probably do some sort of hybrid.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      designing a motherboard and designing a chipset are totally different things. besides, unless the plan on switching away from Intel chips (ARM chips in a laptop?), there are licensing agreements that everyone would have known about a long, long time ago.

        • Ethyriel
        • 11 years ago

        I wonder how the PA Semi guys would be at designing a chipset. Was their chip one of the ones with all sorts of integrated IO? Maybe a northbridge with an integrated co-processor of some sort? Physics? Integrated video that doesn’t blow, nor try to do too much? Open ended RISC stuffs?

        Apple may attract me back to their hardware yet. But if they go Nvidia or AMD then screw ’em.

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          PA Semi made a low-power PowerPC processor. Here’s a good article on the technical merits of the proc:
          §[<http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070213-8828.html<]§ Nothing I've seen says that they have any chipset-making experience.

            • Ethyriel
            • 11 years ago

            Yeah, I realize that, but a lot of these low power chips have moved in the direction of having lots of integrated components, like ethernet controllers and such. How far of a jump would it be from that to a chipset? A few refocused engineers? A few new engineers?

        • Flying Fox
        • 11 years ago

        Exactly, to design a chipset that is compatible with Intel chips you will need the now infamous bus license. Haven’t read anything about Apple getting it. Nvidia has one and ATI/VIA is sort of fading out. This makes little sense also since Nvidia chipsets fall flat on the power side of the equation.

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder also to stop the osx 86 project as well could be wrong though

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    I swear, if Ballmer worked for Apple, he’d be famous for screaming “RUMORS! RUMORS! RUMORS!”.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      develop rumors! develop rumors! develop rumors!

    • Decelerate
    • 11 years ago

    Wow, that would be a pretty big twist for Intel…

    • smilingcrow
    • 11 years ago

    Are they going to include a piece of Monsieur Job’s corpse embedded in every new Macbook so that his disciples can still feel intimate with his highness after his death!

    I can see a limited edition SaintMacBook which comes with a couple of Apple branded bread rolls that were present at his last supper at Apple’s HQ.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Complete with an optional Jobs certified cancer syringe as a gift.

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    iPhone built into the touchpad. You’ve heard it here first, folks.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Nope. You heard it on Boygeiusreport.com frst.

      adi

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Finally, CELL based Mac’s are on their way.

      • ish718
      • 11 years ago

      Doubt it will be fully Cell based, Cells aren’t good for general purpose computing. It will probably be a hybrid with an traditional X86 cpu and some SPEs.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Wow. Could it be possible that Apple makes the switch to the PUMA platform? I don’t think AMD can offer the same volume discounts Intel can, which could explain the tighter margins.

    A glass trackpack and aluminum shell? I’m dying for more info. Multi-touch trackpads are way cool but current macbooks don’t do enough with the features at the moment.

    I’m dying for more info.

      • Price0331
      • 11 years ago

      If they make a puma platform, that lives up to all those design wins, count me in.

        • KikassAssassin
        • 11 years ago

        A Puma-based Macbook with a Mobility Radeon 3650 and hybrid-Crossfire would be pretty sexy.

          • jap0nes
          • 11 years ago

          my bet is that they’ll go nvidia
          1-because it supports intel cpus, which offer better performance/power consumption/heat dissipation
          2-because of cuda

          i dont think they’ll go amd because they’re not capable of ultraportable/thin & light notebooks.

            • xmz
            • 11 years ago

            I’m sure they’ll stuck with intel. But I also think that they’ll go for AMD for chipset because:
            1. nVidia messed up lately with their manufacturing processes
            2. AMD integreated GPU might supported OpenCL as Apple does (so they don’t have to pay for CUDA license)
            3. AMD integrated GPU is now the king. It even made from smaller fab process.

            • Hattig
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t see a compelling reason for Apple to not use Intel’s latest chipsets, and certainly not their CPUs.

            Intel’s chipsets may not be the best, graphics-wise, but they are now on 65nm so they can’t be that much less efficient than AMD’s 55nm chipsets. They have video encode/decode acceleration too. It’s only if Apple really really want to move to OpenCL that I can see them moving to AMD for integrated chipsets, but OpenCL is a long time off, and by then today’s integrated GPUs will barely accelerate anything.

            • adisor19
            • 11 years ago

            Actually, Open CL is a feature of Snow Leopard that will be available, if all goes as planned, next June. In other words, it’s not too far off.

            Adi

            • Space Bags
            • 11 years ago

            oh hai thur i wood liek to introdooce u to a product that ATi makes, cal CAL. It’s actually a lot more open and less restricted than Nvidia’s CUDA. If you’d like to tell me why you think CUDA will make some sort of difference in the decision, please let me know.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This