Printed from http://www.electronista.com

New Macs to get custom platform?

updated 04:25 pm EDT, Mon July 28, 2008

MacBook Custom Platform

Apple is dropping Intel's reference platform in favor of custom circuitry, according to a new rumor floated by AppleInsider. Although every Intel-based Mac has to date used Intel's stock chipsets but with a custom layout, Apple is now purportedly using little to none of Intel's own components in favor of outside parts. Whether this involves licensing components from an outside firm or even custom-designed chips is unknown, though Apple would keep using Intel's processors.

The Mac creator is notably part of the Hypertransport Consortium along with computer firms such as AMD and would have access to the technology to create a much faster connection between the main processor and other components of the system, including memory and peripherals. Intel's hardware is currently bottlenecked by its dependence on two separate chipsets for controlling memory and devices but should be replaced by the QuickPath interface that will accompany its Nehalem architecture in late 2008 and early 2009.

Apple's move would allegedly be made to let it get an edge over competitors using stock Intel designs. What this would entail is unclear, though it could include performance reasons as well as size-related concerns. The MacBook Air is often cited as an example of Apple's early efforts in this area and uses Intel chipsets but a heavily modified layout that allows Apple to reduce the size to below that of rival systems from Lenovo and Voodoo PC.

Neither Apple nor Intel has discussed the specifics of any future platform, though the former has mentioned a "product transition" that would cut its gross profit margins due to higher costs relative to the technology.

This engineering is claimed to be pushing back the launch of the affected MacBooks by "6 to 8 weeks" from today and would leave Apple as one of the last to update its systems since the Centrino 2 announcement in mid-July. However, it would also place the launch at the same time as ultraportable processors due to launch in September and which would be ready for the MacBook Air.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. afaby

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005

    +3

    Stomp out mac clones

    My guess is this is an attempt to lock out the new crop of "Mac clone" makers that are popping up all over the place.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    alright!

    Now we don't have to worry about Apple putting out new Macs the second Intel updates their product line, as they'll have to spend time getting those custom mobos working!

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +4

    echo...echo...echo

    To echo sentiments posted to a different thread, there will be a lot of disappointed educational buyers if Apple unveils a radically redesigned (improved?) platform in October. Of course this is familiar territory to anyone who has been buying Apple products for more than a few years. PCI-X anyone?

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -2

    HyperTransport

    Apple joined the HT Consortium back in the G5 days. Old news

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    don't hold your breath

    Consider the source. It's AppleInsider, for christ's sake. Those guys couldn't predict yesterday's weather if they tried. Their track record consists mostly of "blah".

  1. psilocybenine

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004

    -1

    bad news for dual-booters

    considering the poor functionality i've had with my macbook under vista/xp I can only dream about the amount of resources they'll have to dip into to write new drivers for xp/vista/7 with unique architecture for every new system... my trackpad does/has not scrolled properly in any windows boot since day one! remember the sound output issues!?... what bugs will a proprietary system bring???

  1. resuna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    -1

    Grackle, grackle?

    I'm not sure I'm happy about this, given the fun I've had with past Apple bus controllers. Like afbaby, I suspect that this is at least partly targeted at hackintoshes.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +1

    Upscaled pricing...?

    ...I am hoping to see offerings that will compete better with the 17" HP laptops that now tempt me at $799, rather than raising the ante...

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Home automation fans have been getting their fair share of gadgets and accessories in the last few years. Starting with light bulbs, a ...

Razer Kraken Pro headset

Gaming headphones are a challenge to get right, for a long list of reasons that are unique to the consumer buying them. Some shoppers ...

Patriot Aero Wireless Mobile Drive

Regardless of how large a tablet you buy, you always want more space. There's always one more movie or another album you'd cram on, if ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News