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Thursday, November 16, 2006, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Report: AMD-based Apple notebook in the works

A report published by the always intriguing DigiTimes on Thursday claims that Apple Computer is teaming up with chipmaker AMD to deliver a new notebook that will employ AMD chips rather than those from Intel.

The publication cites Taiwan-based sources in the passive component industry as witnessing an aggressive increase in orders for high-capacitance multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) supposedly en-route for an AMD-based Apple notebook.

"For this new notebook, about 70 22F MLCCs will be required, with Japan-based Murata Manufacturing, Taiyo Yuden and TDK being the three major suppliers," DigiTimes sources reportedly said.

In supporting its claims, the publication cites statements by AMD chief executive Hector Ruiz, who in September said Apple would eventually become one of AMD's customers. It also notes the recent merger between AMD and ATI Technologies as making the "speculation more convincing," because the graphics solutions specialist has been a longtime partner of Apple's.

However, DigiTimes hedges its bets by noting that "some motherboard makers are doubtful about any AMD and Apple partnership, with the makers noting the performance advantage Intel currently enjoys over AMD, especially for the Core 2 Duo processor compared with AMD's present CPU lineup."

"AMD is also considered to have insufficient capacity," those motherboard makers reportedly said.

DigiTimes goes on to say that sources at Taiwan server makers suggested that Apple could alternatively apply AMD's x86 socket chips to its Xserve line.

"In light of the fact AMD's market share in the server segment is likely to reach 20 percent, a partnership between the two companies seems reasonable," the report states.

Editor's note: DigiTimes has not been particularly accurate in its predictions of future Apple product directions and technologies.