Apple sticks with Intel

After weeks of rumour and speculation that Apple was preparing to do something new, it now seems more likely that it is sticking to its chum Intel as closely as Microsoft did in the 1990s.

Word on the street was that Apple was considering moving to ARM chips, or AMD, or even Nvidia depending on whether or not you asked the cat  or Huggy Bear.

But  Real Word Tech points out that Apple cannot replace Intel processors with an alternative design for at least two years.

Real World Technologies’ David Kanter said that while Apple has moved to new chip architectures before it is unlikely at least for now.

For a start ARM chips can’t deliver the necessary performance to keep pace with Intel’s X86. While ARM might be power efficient, as they get bigger that is less of a problem.

Besides there is no reason to believe that these efficiency advantages will scale for high-performance designs, Kanter said.

Apple has also leant a bit on Thunderbolt which Chipzilla is not going to allow to be used on ARM based machines.

Job’s Mob would have consented to such an arrangement with Intel if it was thinking of abandoned X86 in the near future.

Despite the illusion that Apple is a great innovator, Jobs’ Mob can’t develop the very-high-performance chips required for MacBooks. The recent buys of PA Semi and Intrinsity would not give it enough chip expertise to handle bigger and more complex projects.

If it did go the way of ARM, Apple would consequently “split” its computer lineup: ARM for laptops and X86 for desktops, which would be more expensive in the long run.

Kanter added that over five to 10 years that all might change. For that to happen ARM would have to come up with an alternative chip design with clear advantages.

Meanwhile it will stick to Intel like glue.