May 6, 2011 at 12:00 PM ET
Will Apple turn away from its steady soldier, Intel, for its Mac laptop processors, especially with Intel's announcement this week of new technology that can make transistors and chips smaller?
Website SemiAccurate (a name of concern alone) says that Apple "is going to show Intel the door," and instead turn to ARM-based processors for its line of Mac laptops, when 64-bit variations are ready by the end of next year or early 2013. ARM processors are mainly used now in smartphones and tablets, prized for many reasons, but among them their tendency to be power-efficient (hence, drain batteries less quickly).
Apple does not comment on such matters, but Devindra Hardawar of VentureBeat has a different take in "No, Apple won't be dumping Intel chips for ARM in laptops, you crazies," noting Intel's new 3-D "Tri-Gate" transistor technology that will "pave the way for more powerful processors that are cheaper to produce and consume less energy than today’s chips." Hardawar says:
Tri-Gate is a major technological coup for Intel, as it will ultimately allow the chip giant to create more powerful mobile processors and take on ARM’s mobile dominance.
It strikes me as odd that Apple would leave Intel when Tri-Gate has the potential to change the face of computing as we know it. And it will likely take ARM some time before its chips reach the computing levels of Intel’s Core i5 and Core i7 chips in Apple’s Macbook Pro.
We tend to agree with Hardawar. But in the tech world, anything is fair game, and alliances can be broken as easily as Web links.