KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sees a possibility that Apple may drop Intel processors in favor of their own home-grown A-series processor for use in their Mac lineup of computers. The analyst believes this could happen as soon as 2016.
In a new report released Wednesday, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, well-connected analyst Kuo suggests that Apple’s in-house chips will reach a level of performance somewhere between Intel’s Atom and Core i3 lines within the next 1-2 years. Removing Intel from the equation would allow Apple to better control the launch timing of the Mac line, he believes.
Kuo also sees Apple laying the groundwork to diversify the fabrication of its iOS device A-series and Apple Watch S-series systems on a chip.
Samsung is expected to be the major supplier of A9 chips for Apple in 2015, while TSMC will reportedly handle the A10 chip in 2016. An A9X chip, which could power both an iPad and a low-end Mac would be fabbed by TSMC using a 16nm process, while an A10X SoC would be fabbed at Samsung using their 10nm process.
Kuo also believes that the Apple Watch’s custom S-series chips will be fabricated by TSMC in 2016, as of the S2 chip for the second-generation of Apple’s wearable device.
Apple has made great strides with their A-series chips, with the A7 – which debuted in 2012 – being hailed as a “desktop-class CPU.”
While rumors of an Apple move away from Intel as a CPU supplier for their Mac line have been around for years, only recently have the strides in Apple’s A-series chips actually made this feasible.
Rumors last year claimed Apple has built a OS X operating system to run on ARM processors such as its S-series, with several prototype machines having reportedly already been developed.
A move from the Intel processor would have the side effect of sacrificing direct hardware compatibility with the Windows operating system, however this becomes less and less of a drawback as the computing world moves forward.
While Kuo is a relatively reliable source for information such as this, it must be remembered that this is all merely the opinion of one analyst, and we’ll need to take a wait and see attitude as we move forward.