Before Apple went Intel, Macs were a PowerPC affair. Going Intel gave Macs a new level of performance, though Apple did relinquish a level of control (and it gave enthusiasts the ability to make a Hackintosh from PC parts).
Right now, Apple is still using Intel CPUs for all of its notebook and desktop computing hardware, but that could soon change. According to a report from AppleInsider, workers from AMD have been seen on Apple's Commuter Coach buses, and AMD execs have been seen on their way out from those inside Apple's top levels.
Such meetings between the two companies have reportedly enabled Apple to start experimenting with AMD processors – believed to be of both workstation and notebook class – in its future products.
Apple could be looking at AMD's offerings since Intel is not allowing Nvidia to create the chipsets for Nehalem-based processors. This has forced Apple to use an Intel chipset in its latest refresh of 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, while tying them into functioning with discrete Nvidia graphics. The current 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as all the previous unibody models, used both Nvidia chipset and graphics – leaving Intel just with CPU duties.
AMD would be able to supply Apple with the full CPU, GPU and chipset for its products, which could give Apple greater control over its hardware – something the company constantly strives to have.
Of course, all this could be a rouse by Apple to keep Intel on its toes. After all, Apple claims that a lack of Core i5 and Core i7 parts were to blame for the long delay in the MacBook Pro refresh.