A number of sites are following on a report from newcomer website semiaccurate (as in “half-accurate”?) that says that Apple plans to ditch NVIDIA chips and that the relation between the two is deteriorating. The article also hints to NVIDIA’s recent woes with chip defects.
The “ditching” of NVIDIA chips would come from the fact that Apple would use Core i7 chips in the future. The thing that semiaccurate does not mention is that Nvidia does not have a chipset product for that space and is still in a dispute with Intel on the Core i7 front side bus topic. So yeah, if Apple was to use Core i7 today, Nvidia can’t sell them
anything any chipsets… Call that “ditching” if you want. Core i7 chips for laptops are scheduled to be released in the second half of the year.
Onthe business side, Apple has always used multiple vendors, it’s just common sense. In the short term, Apple is focused on delivering a good Mac OS Snow Leopard experience, and that includes a good OpenCL implementation to use GPUs for non-graphics apps, like music and video compression, two common tasks for Mac users.
As of now, NVIDIA is aheadof thegame (and does a good job at marketing its efforts), but eventually ATI will have a decent implementation and Apple will have more choices again. ATI has started to provide OpenCL drivers to its partners, and I expect ATI to provide good performances. Finally, ATI will also be out of the door first with their DX11 implementation, so that might be another reason for Apple to switch.
All that drama is just another day in ChipLand: it’s business. What’s the big deal?