Apple is reportedly looking at switching its desktop and laptop Mac computers from using Intel processors to processors based on ARM designs, in a move that is likely to send shockwaves through the computer industry.
According to Bloomberg, Apple engineers have grown confident enough that mobile processors based on designs licensed from British chip design firm ARM are growing powerful enough to satisfactorily power a desktop or laptop computer.
Apple currently uses ARM-based CPUs for its iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad, while since 2005, Intel CPUs have been used in the company’s OSX-based Mac desktop and laptop computers.
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Tim Cook has previously stated his ambition to move all of Apple’s products onto a single platform by 2017 in order to offer consumers a seamless consumer electronics experience across devices.
The leaks come less than a week after SmartCompany reported ARM had developed its 64-bit Cortex A-50 architecture, which it claims gives performance comparable to a legacy PC. ARM has already announced a number of manufacturing partners for the chips, including Samsung, AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda and STMicro.
In May, SmartCompany reported Intel was attempting to convince Apple to abandon ARM CPUs for its iOS devices in favour of using Intel’s low-power Medfield CPUs.