Apple plans to drop NVIDIA in favor of Intel's integrated graphics in its upcoming Sandy Bridge processors for use in Apple's 13" laptops, according to a report from CNET. Apple has so far resisted using Intel's current-generation processors in its smallest notebooks due to inferior graphics performance, lack of OpenCL support, and engineering constraints. CNET's sources claim, however, that Apple is impressed with the performance of Sandy Bridge's IGP, and that Intel plans to support OpenCL in some form, which would allow Apple to maintain OpenCL support across its entire computer line.
We decided to take a look at some of the technical aspects of Sandy Bridge and how it would fit in Apple's notebook strategy, and we identified a few aspects that might make Sandy Bridge a good fit for Apple's 13" notebooks. Low voltage variants likely won't ship until the second or third quarter next year, so don't expect a MacBook Air refresh before then—however, the same considerations apply for those models, as well.
Apple may drop NVIDIA for Sandy Bridge's IGP next year