by Anton Shilov
04/19/2010 | 10:47 PM
After using Intel Corp.’s central processing units exclusively for over four years, Apple computer may start utilizing processors from Intel’s arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices. Given that AMD is about a year away from its processors code-named Bulldozer (Zambezi) and Fusion (Llano), Apple’s interest may indicate that the chips provide high enough performance for desktops and notebook.
According to AppleInsider web-site, representatives for Sunnyvale, California-based AMD recently visited Apple’s headquarters in a bid to meet with the latter’s executives to discuss potential usage of AMD processors inside Apple’s personal computers. Considering the fact that current AMD central processing units (CPUs) cannot offer competitive performance with Intel chips, it is more than likely that the talks were held about the future microprocessors from AMD, which include next-generation Bulldozer chips as well as hybrid Fusion CPUs with integrated graphics core.
Even though AMD Athlon II or Phenom II microprocessors are behind Intel Core-series in terms of performance, AMD’s ATI graphics unit provides graphics chips that Apple uses inside its computers and also supplies chipsets with integrated graphics engine, which by far outperform solutions from Intel. Moreover, that lead is projected to increase, when AMD launches its Fusion processors early next year.
Not a lot is known about Bulldozer family of processors, but since those chips are projected to feature up to eight x86 processing cores, it is highly likely that the products will be fairly fast, which naturally should inspire Apple to use them.
Unfortunately for AMD, historically Apple has not used processors from different suppliers, since this reduces economy of scale and requires Apple to use different design of mainboards and so on. As a result, AMD products may only be used inside select Macbook or Macintosh models, but not across the board.
Neither Apple nor AMD commented on the news-story.