AMD To Team With Apple At 28nm—Maybe

When we covered AMD's Analyst Day last week, there was a slide in Emilio Ghilardi's presentation that we didn't cover, but in retrospect , probably should have. Amid the usual slides of various supporting OEMs there was an unmentioned, unremarked Apple slide. When later asked if this should be taken as confirmation of a product launch, agreement, or future partnership, AMD said no. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that the two companies really might be working together on a future project—provided AMD didn't just blow its own foot off.

According to Fudzilla, AMD and Apple will announce a deal in 2011 with Apple adopting next-generation 28nm Krishna processors. There's also mention of potential Apple interest in Llano. As enticing as such announcements can sound, we're dubious on this one. Apple, like other PC OEMs, undoubtedly evaluates hardware from AMD and Intel on a regular basis. The issue isn't whether or not Apple is evaluating AMD's new and future Fusion products, but whether Apple is seriously talking about future product launches before Zacate and Ontario have even hit the market. The mobile market is currently in a state of flux and Intel's new IGP for Sandy Bridge is rumored to be significantly faster than current products. With new Atom platforms also on the way, it seems a tad premature to be making solid launch plans around unproven hardware.

Even if an AMD/Apple deal is really on the table, AMD's leak last week might have killed it. Jobs is famously intolerant of leaks and has been known to cut companies from launch events at the last minute if they say the wrong thing. We're optimistic about Bobcat's potential, but we'd be surprised if Apple was committing this far out.

Editor's Update - 11/18/10:  We had a few words with AMD on the topic and as expected making the assumption on unannounced design wins is more than far reach.  The AMD spokesman we chatted with to went on to say that AMD and Apple have a very solid relationship that they continue to cultivate but other than that, the rumors that have been flying about appear to be complete speculation.