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Apple to Skip Intel Arrandale? Demands Alternative Chip?

BrightSideofNews claims that Apple is refusing to accept Intel's upcoming mobile Arrandale chip which incorporates Intel's integrated graphics chipset:

According to sources close to the heart of the matter, Apple allegedly refused to adopt Intel's Arrandale and the Calpella platform in its default form. In order for Apple to implement Calpella design with their next refresh of Mac mini / MacBook / MacBook Pro lines, Intel will have to provide Apple with the 32nm version without the integrated graphics part. Again, we cannot confirm the information about the replacement CPU, we only know that Apple rejected Arrandale.

The report has generated some debate in our Waiting for Arrandale thread both due to the untested source of the rumor as well as the technical implications of creating a custom chip just for Apple.

Intel's addition of integrated graphics into the Arrandale processor comes at an interesting time with the legal battle ongoing between Intel and NVIDIA. Apple had switched from Intel to NVIDIA chipsets for their most recent line of notebook computers. The transition from Intel to NVIDIA in that case resulted in significantly improved integrated graphics performance in the latest round of MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Due to a licensing disagreement with Intel, NVIDIA has since exited the chipset market. Intel's new integrated graphics chipset included in Arrandale is said to be a significant improvement over their previous offerings. Apple, of course, would still be able to offer additional "discrete" graphics cards in their notebooks in conjunction with Intel's system.

The benefit of a custom graphics-less Arrandale, however, is less clear, though Intel and Apple have been known to collaborate on custom chip designs, as in the CPU found in the original MacBook Air. The past report had suggested that Intel and Apple were continuing to work on more projects that were "equally aggressive".

We're not sure what there is to these claims, though based on timelines, the MacBook Pro line is due to be refreshed in the first half of 2010.