updated 01:50 pm EDT, Thu September 21, 2006
Apple to use AMD chips?
AMD CEO Hector Ruiz has suggested that Apple will eventually use AMD processors in some of its future systems, so as not to be held "hostage" to exclusive pricing deals from Intel. At a late dinner in San Francisco the executive criticized Intel for reducing competition to a matter of price through its earlier monopoly of computer architecture, and cited previous examples of exclusive pricing deals with Dell as well as other manufacturers. Dell's recent decision to use AMD processors marks the latest in a series of defections that are breaking Intel's once unshakable grip on mainstream computer manufacturers, according to Electronista. [updated]
AMD recently announced that it would spend $5.4 billion to acquire graphics giant ATI, which currently supplies the majority of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) used in Apple systems. Interestingly, Intel is the supplier of CPUs for the Cupertino-based company's new Macs, working closely with Apple engineers to perfect new mobile and desktop systems. News of the acquisition proved the root of much speculation surrounding whether Apple would forego future deals with ATI in favor of Nvidia, ATI's arch-rival in GPU production.
Following AMDs acquisition announcement in late July, Intel in early August asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Deleware permission to serve ATI a subpoena for important documents which it believes will affect its ability to compete in the processor market. AMD filed an antitrust case against Intel in June of 2005, alleging that the chip giant used its dominance of the x86 microprocessor market to discourage PC manufacturers as well as retailers from purchasing AMD chips.