According to an article published today by Reuters, Intel could become the producer of Apple’s system-on-a-chip, a part that is currently being produced by various parties, with the most notable being Samsung.
That has spurred talk of an Apple deal. A source close to one of the companies says Intel and Apple executives have discussed the issue in the past year but no agreement has been reached.
Intel is the largest chips manufacturer on the planet, and is also ahead of everyone else in terms of process size. Intel, historically the x86 juggernaut, may be forced to take on such a manufacturing position in order to keep its business relevant as ARM continues its meteoric rise.
As mentioned, this isn’t the first time that such a deal has been spoken of. Intel and Apple are close partners, though Intel’s chips currently only power Apple’s Mac line. Intel would likely love to become the producer Apple’s chips, since Apple is such a huge consumer and is willing to pay in order to secure a steady supply of parts. However, becoming a producer of someone else’s design would also be a step back for Intel, which has traditionally held the lead in chip design. Its continued use of only the x86 architecture has stopped Intel from competing in the growing smartphone market.