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Intel VP: Apple 'helps shape our roadmap'

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Wed May 18, 2011

Intel exec says Apple directly influences chips

Intel Senior VP Tom Kilroy commented on Wednesday that Apple was both directly and indirectly influencing the Intel chip roadmap. The two collaborated often, and Apple's consideration "helps shape our roadmap [at Intel]," he said at a Reuters summit. Even when not directly contributing, the company was often driving Intel forward through the success of devices like the iPad, which use the architecture of Intel's rival ARM.

"They push us hard," he summarized.

He didn't say whether there was any merit to questionable rumors of Apple using ARM in Macs, suggesting that it was at Apple's discretion to discuss long-term plans. He noted that the performance gap was currently too massive to use ARM in a performance design, noting that ARM "doesn't even come close" right now. Speed may not come close until ARM Cortex-A15 chip designs start arriving in late 2012.

Intel during is own investor's meeting this week indirectly acknowledged the iPad's pressure on its strategy when it promised an accelerated effort on low-power chips. So far, its strategy has been focused on traditional notebook processors with much slower development of its Atom processors. Without active development, ARM has leapt ahead with much better battery life and frequently performance for the same money or less. A Windows tablet using an Atom often has just half the battery life of an iPad even with a thicker, bulkier design.

Apple's direct involvement has become increasingly clear in recent years. The company is known to use early or otherwise out-of-spec processors such as the first 3GHz quad-core Xeon and the Sandy Bridge-based 2GHz quad Core i7 in the current MacBook Pros. Thunderbolt was co-designed by Apple and gave the company an early lead on adoption.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wonder what came first - this comment or Apples appropriation of Intel's Thunderbolt trademark?

  1. samirsshah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is all talk...

    finally it all comes down to this. Will Apple use Intel as a foundry for A6 using 22 nm tri-gate process?

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969



    and an unnamed apple vp responded, 'you're welcome'

  1. samirsshah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple can not use ARM...

    in Macs even if she wanted to. ARMs lack 64 bit support.

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ARM performance

    ARM "doesn't even come close" right now.

    Hmmm, I guess it all depends on how you look at it ..... I can see Apple putting in 16 ARM A8 cores on ONE die, and I'm sure that would run circles around any Intel chip on the market within the next 12 months, and it would also run way cooler and with much lower power footprint .... something like that can easily power a MacBookPro.

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