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You know that rumor about Apple creating its own proprietary processors for the Mac? Yeah, that one--well, it's back. As iOS devices continue to claim more and more of the computing market, Cupertino may be interested in using its own ARM chips in upcoming Mac models.
The rumor has resurged, thanks to a report from Bloomberg. According to people "familiar with the company's research," Apple engineers are interested in carrying over the chip designs from mobile, to its MacBooks and desktops. According to the sources, we won't see an Apple-created processor "in the next few years," but the switch from Intel processors is "inevitable."
Back in 2005, Apple switched the processors in Mac computers from IBM's PowerPC chips to Intel products. At the time, ARM-based processors like the A6X found in the fourth-generation iPad were but a twinkle in Cupertino's eye.
Apple recently placed Bob Mansfield in charge of chip development as part of a large executive shake-up, saying the research team has "ambitious plans." The move to an ARM-based chip in Macs may be part of a consistent attempt to meld iOS with Mac OS.
Of course, this is all hearsay at this point. And moreover, if Apple does decide to move away from Intel processors, the change won't come without a cost. While ARM chips are lighter on battery consumption for mobile devices, they lack the power of an Intel chip, potentially crippling high-end graphics processing in Macs.
Then again, who knows what Mansfield and his team are up to in the research department. Either way, it doesn't sound like we'll know anything for some time.
Follow this article's author, Matt Clark on Twitter.
(Image source: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)