Apple considered AMD processor for 2011 MacBook Air

“Apple considered putting a notebook processor introduced by Advanced Micro Devices last year in its MacBook Air ultralight laptop computer, several former AMD employees say,” Brian Caulfield reports for Forbes.

“At the time, AMD was adapting to a new, fabless business model and cranking out new ‘fusion’ processors that combined a central processor (CPU) and a graphics processor (GPU) on a single slice of silicon,” Caulfield reports. “On paper, however, the idea was promising, and 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.”

Caulfield reports, “AMD’s engineers were trying to do too much, too quickly, however, shifting to a new manufacturing process at Global Foundries for a processor with a radical new design.”

Read more in the full article here.

16 Comments

    1. Logical fallacy, profitability of the company has no direct correlation with quality of products. I’m not saying they make good processors (they were pretty good for a while but I don’t know now) that logic you used however doesn’t track.

    2. AMD chips are very fast; the average user can’t tell the difference. Intel chips do have better performance, but with AMD, you get a lot more bang for your buck. Look at Newegg…

        1. Performance and efficiency are always key to Apple.
          Yet a high performance and high heat dissipation causes stress to other items on the mother board this is something Apple avoids.

          So as stated a bigger bang for your buck translates to a cheap processors jeopardizing quality of the main product – and customers will see this as a CHEAP unreliable machine.

          ANSWER : NO THANKS.

  1. But I and Apple like ATI Radeon GPU’s… I agree AMD may take years to dry up, but will ultimately fade away. In the mean time, I still want to buy ATI GPU’s and I like it when they show up from time to time in Apple products.

    I think it was a good idea, too bad they had to make so many changes at the same time. I know how that is and spells trouble.

    1. Apple might be considering it only to evaluate the strengths of AMD’s R&D department. Considering that they’ve cranked out some fantastic ATI GPU’s, and given some more money, they could make some amazing chips, Apple may consider purchasing them and their R&D team in a few years, when they begin to go down the drain.

  2. I’d welcome at least some test results of an AMD system vs an equivalent Intel on multicore CPUs & GPUs. Why? I’m sure that OS X would run a heliva lot better & faster than Winbloz.

  3. I use an AMD A4 3400 (Llano) in an HTPC set up. I can testify that as used this CPU performs without any major hiccups. I`m guessing one of Apples concerns was getting them in quantity which was a big problem for AMD at that time.

    1. Agreed and well said. I believe this to be true or Apple would be just sitting pretty doing nothing like Microsoft LOL. OFC they are always on the look out. literally standing on the cutting edge and bleeding a little for the best situations.

      If not then they ain’t APPLE.

  4. key word CONSIDERED — APPLE will usually come to an INVITE… asses the offerings BUT in this case APPLE did not accept. For good reasons.

    “Perhaps the only dissapointment: AMD pitched a low-cost, low-power processor, dubbed ‘Brazos,’ for a new version of its Apple TV set top box, former AMD employees say.

    Apple didn’t bite.”

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