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AMD Had a Chance to Get Llano Into Apple's Macbook Air

By - Source: Forbes | B 29 comments

Apple is a prestigious customer for Intel, as the chip maker enjoys being in the spotlight whenever Apple launches a new PC.

However, the relationship between Intel and Apple may not be as loyal as it seems on the outside as there is now a report that suggests that Apple may have considered using AMD processors for its current generation of MacBooks.

According to AMD employees quoted by Forbes, Apple was interested in AMD's Llano APUs, but the production issues at GlobalFoundries apparently killed a possible deal. Apparently, AMD was not able to supply samples of Llano on time. Forbes quotes one employee saying, “We had it. But the yields didn’t come in.”

However, the opinions why AMD lost the opportunity and how close it actually came to striking a deal with Apple are still unclear. AMD declined to comment on the report when we contacted them today.

Unfortunately, these opportunities do not along often. The Forbes article stated that Apple rejected a pitch that it could use Brazos processors for its Apple TV box. The scenario is reminiscent of persistent rumors in the early 2000s that Dell might be considering AMD processors for its computers to create a strategic counterweight in its processor price negotiations with Intel. Dell announced in May 2006 that it would begin offering its PCs with AMD processors, which came at a time when AMD had a technology advantage over Intel and was able to guarantee enough production volume to meet Dell's volume requirements.

Had AMD been able to make that same guarantee with Llano, there is chance that we would be seeing MacBook Airs with AMD processors today, at least if the Forbes report is to be believed.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    esrever , February 24, 2012 1:31 AM
    Wasn't this well known?
  • 15 Hide
    outlw6669 , February 24, 2012 1:20 AM
    Well, damn.
    That was an opportunity wasted and lost :/ 
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2012 1:48 AM
    if theres a company who can fully take advantage of AMD processors usage to the max, its Apple. Shame it didnt happen tho.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    outlw6669 , February 24, 2012 1:20 AM
    Well, damn.
    That was an opportunity wasted and lost :/ 
  • 16 Hide
    esrever , February 24, 2012 1:31 AM
    Wasn't this well known?
  • 14 Hide
    livebriand , February 24, 2012 1:32 AM
    Dang... that would've been cool!
  • 9 Hide
    TheApocalypse , February 24, 2012 1:33 AM
    No use fretting on opportunities missed just as long as they keep an eye on the future and do better next time.
  • 2 Hide
    11796pcs , February 24, 2012 1:39 AM
    Good, I can continue using AMD processors and drinking the cool-aid of supposed superiority over Intel.
  • 6 Hide
    omega21xx , February 24, 2012 1:39 AM
    This is the second article i've read today that was news months ago... I only come here and one other place for news so it's weird that i've heard these things already...
  • 8 Hide
    omega21xx , February 24, 2012 1:44 AM
    11796pcsGood, I can continue using AMD processors and drinking the cool-aid of supposed superiority over Intel.

    Or the thought by the majority of the tech community that Apple uses under powered hardware for what you pay :lol:  Apple didn't plan to do this for performance reasons but because they like to line their pockets with cash, as I assume AMD offered a better price per chip than intel.

    That aside it would have been nice as I do want AMD to start becoming a bigger competitor.
  • 9 Hide
    de5_Roy , February 24, 2012 1:45 AM
    thanks glofo for ruining yet another oppportunity for amd.
    amd could have been up there with the elites!
    hopefully amd gets through to apple with trinity which seems to be a big improvement over llano.
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2012 1:48 AM
    if theres a company who can fully take advantage of AMD processors usage to the max, its Apple. Shame it didnt happen tho.
  • 3 Hide
    Device Unknown , February 24, 2012 1:51 AM
    It seems every time i turn around there is some sort of issue with Global Foundries. Time to ditch their ass and find another company that can man up.
  • 5 Hide
    James296 , February 24, 2012 2:22 AM
    Device UnknownIt seems every time i turn around there is some sort of issue with Global Foundries. Time to ditch their ass and find another company that can man up.


    if i remember right, AMD already did but don't quote me on that though
  • 4 Hide
    EXT64 , February 24, 2012 2:26 AM
    Who? Intel is the only company that makes CPUs like Global Foundries. TSMC might be in the mix too, but they aren't the most reliable either. A fab business is extremely expensive to run and keep competitive.
  • 7 Hide
    vilenjan , February 24, 2012 2:52 AM
    When I upgrade from my still good Phenom II 955 (which was $160 at a time when the i7-750 was $215) in about 2 years I will be looking for 8 core piledriver cpu from AMD. Will it be the sexy new hot cpu that everyone talks about? Nope. Will it still be overkill for 99% of the tasks I throw at and at the time and for some time afterwards? Yes. Will it be the best bang for the buck at its price range? Probably.

    I have been using AMD cpus since the e-machine I bought in 98 had a k6-III 450 mhz cpu. Not disappointed thus far and its nearing a decade and a half :) 
  • 4 Hide
    lordstormdragon , February 24, 2012 3:11 AM
    AMD simply didn't want to be associated with the "lowest common denominator" types. They've maintained their integrity by electing not to become financially tied to the purse-strings of douchery.
  • 2 Hide
    nebun , February 24, 2012 4:32 AM
    here is the reason why....AMD could not compete with Intel's product
  • 3 Hide
    DjEaZy , February 24, 2012 4:33 AM
    However, the relationship between Intel and Apple may not be as loyal as it seems that intel thry co copy the MacBook Air in with the UltraBook initiative...
  • 6 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , February 24, 2012 5:39 AM
    Quote:
    whenever Apple launches a new PC


    :lol:  Finally someone got it :D 
  • 0 Hide
    zachusaman , February 24, 2012 7:31 AM
    omega21xxOr the thought by the majority of the tech community that Apple uses under powered hardware for what you pay Apple didn't plan to do this for performance reasons but because they like to line their pockets with cash, as I assume AMD offered a better price per chip than intel.That aside it would have been nice as I do want AMD to start becoming a bigger competitor.


    the APU's would certainly offer them an advantage, think of being able to not have to work a graphics chip onto a board, would allow apple to get a thinner computer which is the most important thing ever
  • 0 Hide
    dealcorn , February 24, 2012 7:52 AM
    I always believe everyone who says "I did my job well but it is the other guy's fault we lost." After all, it could not have been a team failure.
  • 0 Hide
    viktorbkk , February 24, 2012 8:20 AM
    Where Llano failed, Trinity will succeed!
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