As hard as it might be to believe, Apple
came within inches of revamping its MacBook Air
line with AMD's Llano platform
. In fact, it was all set to go into production, but was abruptly cancelled last spring mainly because Apple lacked confidence in AMD's ability to supply enough parts. Intel
, as it turns out, was Plan B.
That's according to SemiAccurate, which claims to have heard from multiple sources that AMD was a frontrunner in the MacBook Air sweepstakes for quite some time. Apple was drawn to AMD's superior graphics technology, even at the expense of inferior CPU power, and had AMD been able to supply enough premium versions of Llano
, it could have scored a major win.
As SemiAccurate tells it, Apple was very close to producing MacBook Air models with AMD inside instead of Intel.
Instead it was Intel that muscled its way into the current generation of MacBook Air models, and according to SemiAccurate, that's the reason why the Air wasn't revamped last time around. Intel was Apple's second choice, its safety net, if you will.
This presents an interesting situation going forward. If AMD can get a grip on production, will the next generation of MacBook Air models still sport Intel inside? What's more, SemiAccurate reports Apple is considering ARM processors once 64-bit chips show up to the party.