Report: Nvidia clinches MacBook GPU deal

Nvidia has reportedly clinched a lucrative deal with Apple to provide GPUs for Cupertino’s upcoming MacBook refresh.

According to SemiAccurate’s Charlie Demerjian, the Nvidia GPUs will likely appear in Apple’s Ivy Bridge models next spring.

“About three years after the decision to boot Nvidia out of the company was made, and two years after the first ATI/AMD Macs in recent memory hit the shelves, you will see Nvidia Macs reappearing,” Demerjian writes.

“[So] I guess ‘never’ at Apple means single digit years.”

Demerjian says he believes Apple finds itself in a bit of a pickle, as the corporation is “notoriously pissy about suppliers,” and will attempt to “permanently” kick one out for perceived slights, real or not.

The problem, notes Demerjian, is that Apple is severely constrained by a lack of GPU suppliers, as the days of multiple graphics companies has long faded into the twilight of economic uncertainty.

“[There was a time when] you could toss the proverbial bums out every few years and there would be a host of virgin suckers to choose from,” Demerjian reminisces.

“[But] now there are [just] two GPU vendors [AMD and Nvidia], period, and no others in the wings to pick up the slack.”

Demerjian adds that there is a “precipitous drop” in GPU attach rates for smaller and thinner notebooks; which could indicate a limited future for discrete GPUs in laptops – especially after the recent debut of AMD’s APU and Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge.