After whipping Intel, Nvidia and AMD in mobile chips, the sky’s the limit for Apple’s silicon design team

“While rumors have long claimed that Apple has plans to replace Intel’s x86 chips in Macs with its own custom ARM Application Processors, there are a series of more valuable opportunities available to Apple’s silicon design team, each of which has the potential to replicate Apple’s history of beating Intel in mobile chips and in building mobile GPUs without the help of Nvidia or AMD,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for AppleInsider.

“Beyond mobile Baseband Processors and GPUs, Apple also appears interested in acquiring and developing strategically selected sensors, cameras, IO interfaces and other component technology—some of which even many technically savvy consumers have never heard of before,” Dilger writes. “For example, last fall Apple devoted an unusual amount of attention to an esoteric display component called the timing controller or ‘TCON’ in introducing the 5K iMac.”

“At this point, Apple can literally do anything it wants to,” Dilger writes. “The real question is: what will Apple want to do next?”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

17 Comments

  1. We don’t want this Apple. I like my x86 Macs because it saves me time and money to run the software I need to. Unless you plan to make some sort of Universal apps that run on x86 and ARM (like they did for PowerPC) then forget about it.

    Microsoft already tried this with Windows RT, look how that panned out.

        1. Agreed. I’m stuck using Windoze machines at work (with critical software that still runs DOS), and hate it. Don’t want to overlap that with my Mac use at home, so it won’t matter to me, but I completely understand why some do.

          But that’s not the point of Jim’s post or my reply. Barely even a tangent on the circle of our discussion.

    1. As usual, I personally find the rumor of A-series CPUs replacing x86 CPUs in Macs to be silly, if slightly amusing.

      BUT: Nothing is stopping Apple from making their own GPUs for the Mac, except ambition. That could be fascinating!

  2. “What does Apple want to do next?”

    Innovate in integrating components!

    Apple gets tremendous multiple benefits from putting more and more components on the same chip, all the way through the manufacturing process.

    1. That’s because Apple knows what it needs in the hardware it designs, running the OS it designs, running software it approves for sale. iOS devices will easily outpace Android, but don’t expect this to extend to the Mac without damaging Mac sales.

      Remember what happened to the Apple II when Apple got too wrapped up in the Mac.

  3. And how many companies have the wherewithal to do “anything they want” and do it well most of the time? This is what other companies must be greatly fearing now, Apple has turned a huge page in the book of tech. Analysts with differing views prepare to be marginalized and ignored. You can only paint a Chicken Little scenario so long before it’s an embarrassment and a supreme disservice to your clients. But I guess some people don’t mind looking like idiots with vast and terminal comprehension and predictive disabilities (the Dvoraks, Enderles, Thurotts).

  4. Ok, so if Apple has money to burn, why not do something that Mac users would really like — an expandible mid-tower. It doesn’t even have to make a lot of profit. Just consider it a sop to the geeks. It wouldn’t make up for the recent missteps (Yosemite, ios 7/8, publicly flaunting homosexuality), but it would help.

    1. Making an ‘expandable mid-tower’ could be as simple as adding a second level to the existing Mac Mini. It sort of depends upon what expansion you want to add.

      I’d certainly go back to DIY expandable RAM. I expect people would like to able to change up their CPU, add a video card, add another memory drive, slide in a monster GPU card. How many slots would it need?

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