Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac devices could soon be powered by processors developed by ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ:ARMH), according to a new report on Sunday.
Apple is rumored to be actively developing prototypes of several ARM-based devices, including an iMac, Mac mini and a 13-inch Notebook with four to eight 64-bit ARM Quad-core processors, MacBidouille, a French technology news website, reported, adding that the new devices could also feature a new keyboard that incorporates a large-format “Magic Trackpad.”
The report also said that the new machines are far along in development and could even be ready for an announcement. Although the French website is not a frequent source of Apple-related rumors, the Cupertino tech giant has long been rumored to be working on ARM-based Macs though many observers have doubted the feasibility of such a plan, MacRumors reported.
In 2011, reports surfaced claiming that Apple had threatened to abandon Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ:INTC) chips if the company did not find a solution to slash power consumption on its processors. Rumors also surfaced saying that Apple could migrate from Intel to ARM processors “as soon as possible,” while some reports, as far back as 2011, had speculated that Apple already had an ARM (A5) powered MacBook Air in its labs.
Bloomberg also reported, in 2012, that Apple was exploring ways to replace the Intel processors in its Mac computers with a version of the chip technology used in the iPhone and iPad. However, another report at the time also noted that while Apple’s shift from Intel to ARM was not implausible, the iPhone-maker would face several hurdles in making the switch.
Meanwhile, Apple has been adding significant performance enhancements to its ARM processors on other devices. For example, the A7 processor featured in the iPhone and iPad was recently described as “desktop class” by an AnandTech analysis.