New iMacs could sport Xeon E3 chips, ECC RAM, Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, new keyboard & more

Following up on a comment from Apple’s Phil Schiller regarding upcoming iMacs with pro-grade features, Pike’s Universum today shared a few specifics on what said upgrades might entail. Citing a “pretty accurate” source, the blog claims next-gen iMacs will feature Intel’s more powerful Xeon E3 chips with up to sixty-four gigabytes of Error-Correcting Code (ECC) RAM, faster flash storage with capacities up to two terabytes, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and more.

Early MacBook Pro adopters confused by misidentified graphics in System Profiler

If you’re a proud owner of a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, you may be wondering why macOS’s System Profiler application identifies the GPU as Intel Iris Pro 580 integrated graphics vs. Intel HD Graphics 530, as advertised on Tech Specs webpage.

No, Apple did not accidentally put the wrong GPU in the new MacBook Pro—a company source explains that the problem stems from an error in the System Information database causing the app to misidentify the GPU.

Apple accelerating custom chip development

Apple has seen a few high-profile departures of its silicon experts for graphics giant AMD. For example, Apple’s lead chip designer Jim Keller left the company last August to join AMD’s Mark Papermaster, who was briefly Apple’s VP of iPhone engineering.

Another example: Wayne Meretsky, who is known for his work on Macs and other Apple products, in January became AMD’s VP of Software Development. And perhaps most importantly, director of graphics architecture Raja Koduri in April left for AMD, where he had previously worked before Apple poached him in April 2009.

Now, Apple is striking back. According to a number of job listings and LinkedIn profiles, Apple this year picked up at least a dozen former AMD graphics engineers for Orlando Design Center, its rumored brand new shop for custom chip development. These hires indicate Apple’s accelerated custom chip development as the firm seeks to further distance itself from rivals, whose products mostly incorporate off-the-shelf chips…

AMD hires away Apple’s director of graphics architecture

Graphics giant Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has wooed another semiconductor expert away from Apple. Raja Koduri, who had previously worked at AMD before Apple poached him in April 2009, specializes in graphics technology and is understood to have helped with Apple’s own chip-design efforts a great deal.

At AMD, Koduri will reportedly lead engineering efforts in visual computing, reporting to the company’s Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster, another Apple hire who left the iPhone maker over cultural incompatibility and after falling out of favor with late co-founder Steve Jobs…

AMD hires ex-Apple and Qualcomm chip experts, looks to move beyond PCs

This is kind of interesting. In an effort to move beyond PCs and expand its market, AMD just hired two high-profile chip experts: Charles Matar of Qualcomm, and Wayne Meretsky, formally of Apple.

The company currently depends on the PC industry for 80% of its profits. And with sales in that business dropping due to rising demand for smartphones and tablets, it’s looking to shift gears quickly…