Intel Exec: We've Heard Apple Might Switch To ARM

intel appleAt least Intel CEO Paul Otellini will never have to wear that darn suit again.

Photo: AP

A couple months ago, rumours emerged that Apple is going to switch from Intel to ARM processors for its notebook computers.Today, Intel exec Greg Welch told CNET that he’s heard those rumours, too.

We hear the same rumours and it would be remiss of us to be dismissive. We endeavour to innovate so they’ll continue to look to us as a supplier.

Welch is heading up Intel’s $300 million Ultrabook program, where the chip maker will invest in hardware makers to help them build ultra-thin notebooks like the Macbook Air.

A couple weeks ago, he told the Wall Street Journal that Apple had actually threatened to dump Intel, but made it sound like that threat had been resolved when Intel released a roadmap to create more power-efficient chips over the next few years.

Apple already uses ARM designs in the iPad and iPhone, but switching to ARM for notebooks would be a big deal — ARM processors have not been used in full-powered personal computers for years, and Apple just switched from the PowerPC architecture to Intel six years ago.

Update: This story originally stated that ARM has never been used in PCs. A reader pointed out that the ARM architecture was originally developed by Acorn Computers for a line of personal computers that came out in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They were briefly popular in the U.K and some other countries. Acorn spun that team off into ARM Holdings, which became the company we know today.

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