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  • New Forbes Profile Claims Apple Came Close to Using AMD Chips in 2011 MacBook Air



    Apple has long enjoyed special treatment from Intel, receiving the latest versions of desktop and laptop processors before they become available to PC manufacturers. But, last year rumors of Apple’s displeasure with Intel began to surface. An upcoming Forbes profile of AMD appears to confirm those rumors.

    In the profile Forbes claims Apple considered AMD’s Llano family of Fusion combo CPU-GPU systems as the heart of the 2011 MacBook Air. However, AMD was unable to deliver the necessary parts in time, and those that were, exhibited unacceptable failure rates.

    AMD struggled with its new fabless model while trying to crank out “fusion” processors that combined a CPU and a GPU in a single part. On paper the idea was promising. A notebook processor dubbed “Llano” got a close look from Apple for an update to the ultralight MacBook Air, scheduled for launch in mid-2011.

    But, AMD couldn’t get early working samples of Llano to Apple on time, one former employee says. Several former AMD employees disagree on just how close AMD came. “We had it,” one says. But too many of the Llano parts were faulty. AMD lost the deal.
    While it is unclear exactly how close AMD came to securing the deal, Apple is in no way completely satisfied with Intel. Apple’s processor struggles stem from Intel’s attempts to monopolize the notebook integrated processor market. Intel refuses to license the proper technologies to NVIDA and other graphics companies to develop the proper integrated graphic solutions for the faster iSeries (i3, i5, i7) of mobile processors. Apple could either choose slower Core 2 Duo chips with better NVIDIA graphics or the iSeries with Intel’s slower integrated graphics solutions. This problem only relates to the MBA as the lack space in the design prevents Apple from including a discrete graphics card.

    However, I do find it hard to believe Apple would sacrifice Thunderbolt functionality in the MBA in favor of AMD’s integrated CPU+GPU solutions. But, if relations with Intel in the mobile market continue to go south Apple could very well make the move.

    Source: Forbes [via MacRumors]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: New Forbes Profile Claims Apple Came Close to Using AMD Chips in 2011 MacBook Air started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. duromega's Avatar
      duromega -
      No AMD for me, sorry!
    1. ikesmasher's Avatar
      ikesmasher -
      Have you ever USED the fusion chips? they are AMAZING. if you want decent graphics at all, instead of intel HD crap, they are amazing. not to mention quad core.
    1. mrwalleyeman's Avatar
      mrwalleyeman -
      I said it before in another post that apple may go to AMD. They already use the Radeon graphics, so why not a total solution from AMD.
      Intel makes crappy graphics cards. I think sometime in the next few years they will go with a total AMD solution. I think that would be a good move on the part of Apple.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      The way I see it, it's a catch 22. Intels CPUs outperform AMD in all aspects. Heat is important, especially when talking about laptops, and Intel currently dominates. Better performance, and less heat. Graphics cards AMD dominates. I don't think the average person buying a lower end notebook from Apple is going to be terribly worried about this, and the best selling laptops, for Apple, are the lower to mid range of each product line they offer.
    1. Cellular's Avatar
      Cellular -
      Amd>intel
    1. ikesmasher's Avatar
      ikesmasher -
      really? because as far as i know, fusion chips generate much less heat.
    1. n3rxs's Avatar
      n3rxs -
      I think you missed the statement in the article "unacceptable failure rate"


      Quote Originally Posted by ikesmasher View Post
      Have you ever USED the fusion chips? they are AMAZING. if you want decent graphics at all, instead of intel HD crap, they are amazing. not to mention quad core.
    1. ikesmasher's Avatar
      ikesmasher -
      That was because several people they had making the chips bailed or failed (heh,that rhymed). Im typing on one right now...hopefully, with trinity (the next generation) they will step it up.