As part of its move to Intel chips in early 2006, the Cupertino-based company largely abandoned its practice of using custom motherboard chipsets to support the primary CPU in its Macs. Instead, it began to rely on slightly tweaked versions of industry-standard chipsets offered by Intel to the broad range of PC manufacturers that develop Intel-powered systems.

For instance, while Apple’s existing line of MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks are unique in that they run the Mac OS X operating system, they’re architecturally based on the same run-of-the-mill processors and chipsets from Intel’s Santa Rosa mobile platform also employed by Windows-supporting rivals, such as Dell and HP.

However, with Apple striving to maintain Mac sales growth of more than two times the industry average, it’s again looking to differentiate the architecture of its personal computer systems through alternative technology that will afford it an advantage beyond the reach of its competition.

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