I worte an bloody long piece in office and IE somehow manage to lose it all for me
AMD CPU needs Apple
May be a reason why AMD's executive are seen in Infinite Loop instead of Apple going over to AMD. AMD weakest link is their PR, Marketing and Advertising. Having Apple using their CPU is a advertising campaign that is worth more then billion dollars.
But there are many things AMD aren't suited to Apple.
1. Fabs Capacity
AMD are actually selling as many chips as they can make. So what is holding AMD fro grabbing more market shares is not Intel. It is actually AMD itself. Although GF should turn the situation around with Fabs acquire from Charted Semi and New Fab in NY and Germany. Depending on Situation it may be as late as 2012 before they are in operation.
If Intel wanted they could get an Desktop Version of SandyBridge for Volume production in three months time. Sticking to their current schedule we will have Mobile and Desktop version of Sandybridge launch at the same time in late 2010 / early 2011. And dont expect are volume hick up because Somehow Intel manage to complete 4 32nm Fabs transition by the end of 2010. They have finish 2 already. Which is the fastest Fabs transition Intel have done.
3. ATI / IGP
It is very unlikely Apple want ATI. Apple want a GPU that does GPGPU well, and less importance is placed on Gaming. And ATI is lacking well behind compare to Nvidia. So unless AMD allows Apple to use AMD CPU with a Nvidia GPU. GPGPU requires a lot of software engineers writing good driver for Mac OSX. Which ATI is lacking, personally i think AMD hate Intel much more then Nvidia.
Giving the current facts about Bulldozer and SandyBridge. Expect Bulldozer to perform better at Interger and slightly worst at Floating Points. This is not such a bad thing because AMD wants to move Floating Points calculation to the GPU. However Bulldozer was not a Mobile / Power Concerned Design from Ground up. Even if it did. AMD has never been good at it compare to Intel.
Some people thinks Apple could get an better pricing from AMD then Intel. Which is simply not true. It is very likely that Apple got some VERY favorable pricing from Intel.
6. Intel / Nvidia IGP.
Apple wanted a two Chip design for their basic Platform. A CPU and MGPU ( Motherbroad GPU , or a Chipset with IGP ) and Traditional thee Chips for Higher End. With the coming of Optimus / Optimus Like system, Intel IGP is no longer a bad thing. Since it actually provide best Performance / Watts in all situations. If previously Apple wanted a decent GPU in CPU, Apple would now likely wants a super low Power IGP in CPU instead. ( PowerVR）
As to Nvidia IGP, this will be fixed once SandyBridge is out. Since it has a PCI-Express 2.0 / 3.0 inside, a Nvidia IGP will simply connect with that instead.