Apple and Intel May Strike Deal on Chip Manufacturing

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News Posted: Thu, Mar 7 2013 3:33 PM
Intel and Apple each have a problem that the other could solve. Although Intel is the king of PC processors, the mobile chip market is a much different story--there, the company has barely made a dent in what has become a very competitive environment. At the same time, Intel has invested billions in world-class fabrication facilities that operate at less than full capacity.

Apple uses Samsung chips in its mobile devices, but the two companies have come to hate each other and have gone nuclear in court. (Remember that billion dollars Samsung now owes Apple? No love lost there.)

One obvious solution to this problem is for Intel to start manufacturing processors for Apple products. In fact, Intel has already begun testing the waters of becoming a foundry by bringing chipmaker Altera to its fabs, so it’s not too far-fetched to imagine that Intel may start relying on a foundry service business to supplement its income as the PC market dwindles.

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According to Reuters, Intel and Apple have been chatting about potential partnerships for a long time, and the site has Intel customer foundry VP and general manager Sunit Rikhi on record as saying that “his group is ready to take on a potential large, unidentified mobile customer”.

There’s one other awkward issue at hand though, and that is the fact that Apple uses ARM-based chips in its devices. But who knows, perhaps somewhere down the line Intel can persuade its (alleged) new foundry buddy to give its Atom processors a go.
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rapid1 replied on Thu, Mar 7 2013 3:46 PM

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Apple already made the switch with their laptops and desktops...

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Marco C replied on Thu, Mar 7 2013 5:04 PM

This is different. This agreement would have Intel manufacture chips directly for Apple. Not just Apple using Intel processors.

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Intel would really be the next one up who could keep with Demand,

Though as it was mentioned at the last paragraph, Apple mainly uses ARM based, and has since the beginning of their mobile entry. I am curious to see where its all headed for the both of them.

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Intel certainly has the capacity that Apple needs. So this is a logical move.

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sevags replied on Fri, Mar 8 2013 12:09 AM

Very interesting if it actually happens. Apple's custom ARM A6 by Samsung was a beast and can only imagine custom intel SoC's for apple would be even better performers than intels similar offerings. Sad part is the best part of this outcome would be if Apple's mobile products started running more "full" versions of OSX instead of th dumbed down iOS.... especially on iPads... But I don't see them going that route and that's where the modding community will most likely step in.

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