Nvidia working with Apple on graphics for 'revolutionary' new Mac products

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Though Apple's current Mac lineup relies on AMD graphics, a switch to Nvidia could be in the works for the MacBook Pro and beyond, if new job listings from the GPU maker is any indication.





A series of new available positions advertised by Nvidia seek software engineers for the company's Mac graphics drivers team. Qualified applicants should have experience with Apple's Metal cross-platform application programming interface, featured on new Macs as well as iOS devices.

The job listings, which were first discovered by Bloomberg, boast that hires will "help produce the next revolutionary Apple products," working in partnership with the company.

Apple is expected to unveil new Mac hardware this fall, most notably a long-awaited update for its flagship MacBook Pro featuring a thinner design, USB-C ports, and an OLED touch bar to replace the row of function keys. Rumors have suggested Apple will stick with AMD for discrete graphics options in the larger 15-inch model.


Given the fact that Nvidia is hiring for positions now, and new Macs are likely only a matter of weeks away, it's likely that any potential switch to Nvidia would be months if not years down the road. Still, the listings strongly suggest that Nvidia and Apple are working together behind the scenes, potentially to bring Nvidia hardware back to new Macs at some point in the future.

Both Nvidia and AMD have lost out on the mobile chip business, where Apple instead partners with PowerVR for graphics processing its custom A-series processors found in the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. In the Mac business, however, Apple still relies heavily on established players like Intel and AMD for its processing power.

For the Mac, Apple has transitioned between graphics makers before. In 2012, the company ditched AMD for Nvidia to power its first 15-inch MacBook Pro with high-resolution Retina displays.

Discrete graphics options do not apply to most Mac purchases, however, as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, and all MacBook Airs rely solely on integrated Intel graphics. Given the power and space requirements for discrete graphics, and Apple's own ongoing quest for thinness and portability without sacrificing battery life, it seems unlikely that Nvidia graphics would come to Apple's most portable Macs.

Still, beyond the 15-inch MacBook Pro, Nvidia could also muscle in on Apple's Mac Pro business, where the cylindrical desktop machine is also due for a hardware update. And there are also rumors that Apple is working on a next-generation external Retina display with integrated graphics, allowing underpowered devices like the 12-inch MacBook Pro to utilize an external GPU to help push pixels.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    I'd love to see a return of the hardware to the base of the iMac (which could be as thin as a MacBook Pro and a razor thin display take the place of the current design. Moving the hardware back to the base would also give it more stability. Wireless charging is a possibility also, but I'd not bet on that part.

    edited September 2016 fotoformattallguy
  • Reply 2 of 59
    I wouldn't put it past nVidia to post something like this just to bump their stock price.
  • Reply 3 of 59
    I would really like to see more NVIDIA GPU's in Macs. Just my opinion, I think NVIDIA graphics are a little better these days. They're certainly better from a power standpoint. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 4 of 59
    Would love to see Pascal GPUs in high-end Macs. That would make a wonderful environment for scientific computing.
  • Reply 5 of 59
    Excellent news!
  • Reply 6 of 59
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Apple should bring nVidia 3D Vision to Mac and display http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-main.html BTW, it is not Nvidia but nVidia ("envy").
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 7 of 59
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member
    macxpress said:
    I would really like to see more NVIDIA GPU's in Macs. Just my opinion, I think NVIDIA graphics are a little better these days. They're certainly better from a power standpoint. 
    Tell that to all the MacBook Pro owners from a few years back!  I was very lucky and Apple replaced my motherboard but the vast majority of folks I knew ended up with large aluminum paper weights.  I'd like to see a genuine 100% designed Apple GPUs, I'd trust Apple more than either AMD or NVidia.
    edited September 2016 mr squidfotoformatcyberzombiebaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 59
    Something big is happening in the Apple lineup for 2017. Its going to be a major year for Apple.
    slprescott
  • Reply 9 of 59
    For Apple to truly get what they want out of their devices they could partner with Nvidia similarly to how they partnered with PowerVR for mobile...Apple seems to do its best work when they focus on their strengths complimented with other companies strengths...
    jude2012
  • Reply 10 of 59
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member
    qwwera said:
    Something big is happening in the Apple lineup for 2017. Its going to be a major year for Apple.
    I'm still holding out for a self driving VTO car/plane that can also be a boat and submarine with wireless charging.
    mr squidnolamacguycommand_f
  • Reply 11 of 59
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member

    For Apple to truly get what they want out of their devices they could partner with Nvidia similarly to how they partnered with PowerVR for mobile...Apple seems to do its best work when they focus on their strengths complimented with other companies strengths...
    I don't care who makes the GPU (assuming Apple quality) I just want to see Apple design and support them.  GPUs have long been the Achilles' heel of Macs.
    hypoluxajasenj1Habi_tweet
  • Reply 12 of 59
    qwwera said:
    Something big is happening in the Apple lineup for 2017. Its going to be a major year for Apple.
    I'm still holding out for a self driving VTO car/plane that can also be a boat and submarine with wireless charging.
    And anti-gravity massage chairs.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    So do people still expect new Macs this year? It's almost October and no rumors. I hope so. Both Google and Microsoft will be releasing new hardware in October with Microsoft rumored to be delivering an iMac competitor and Google a dual OS laptop and tablet.
  • Reply 14 of 59
    I'd love to see a return of the hardware to the base of the iMac (which could be as thin as a MacBook Pro and a razor thin display take the place of the current design. Moving the hardware back to the base would also give it more stability. Wireless charging is a possibility also, but I'd not bet on that part.

    LOL is that an optical drive?
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 15 of 59
    I'd love to see a return of the hardware to the base of the iMac (which could be as thin as a MacBook Pro and a razor thin display take the place of the current design. Moving the hardware back to the base would also give it more stability. Wireless charging is a possibility also, but I'd not bet on that part.

    LOL is that an optical drive?
    No, it's a toaster.
    baconstang
  • Reply 16 of 59

    macxpress said:
    I would really like to see more NVIDIA GPU's in Macs. Just my opinion, I think NVIDIA graphics are a little better these days. They're certainly better from a power standpoint. 
    Tell that to all the MacBook Pro owners from a few years back!  I was very lucky and Apple replaced my motherboard but the vast majority of folks I knew ended up with large aluminum paper weights.  I'd like to see a genuine 100% designed Apple GPUs, I'd trust Apple more than either AMD or NVidia.
    As an owner of a 2011 MBP, I can say that with my third failing AMD Radeon HD 6750M (second this year) and the existing replacement program through the end of 2016, I'm not sure why you'd single out Nvidia as being problematic.
    jude2012macxpress
  • Reply 17 of 59
    I'd love to see a return of the hardware to the base of the iMac (which could be as thin as a MacBook Pro and a razor thin display take the place of the current design. Moving the hardware back to the base would also give it more stability. Wireless charging is a possibility also, but I'd not bet on that part.

    LOL is that an optical drive?
    No, it's a toaster.
    Tim warned us about those.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    qwwera said:
    Something big is happening in the Apple lineup for 2017. Its going to be a major year for Apple.
    I'm still holding out for a self driving VTO car/plane that can also be a boat and submarine with wireless charging.
    You have really hold your breath good . Don't cheat though. And don't give up. 
  • Reply 19 of 59

    For Apple to truly get what they want out of their devices they could partner with Nvidia similarly to how they partnered with PowerVR for mobile...Apple seems to do its best work when they focus on their strengths complimented with other companies strengths...
    I don't care who makes the GPU (assuming Apple quality) I just want to see Apple design and support them.  GPUs have long been the Achilles' heel of Macs.
    Agreed! 
  • Reply 20 of 59
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,114member
    Crazy thought: why not use the pixel-pushing power of the A10 or A9x used in the iPad Pro?   Small. Efficient.  Powerful.  Cheap.  
    TomE
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