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NEWS FLASH: Apple switching away from Intel

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Unless they have managed to secure a licence for x86 and add some VLIW support (think Project Denver or Transmeta) to reassure customers, this is bound to be a failure IMHO given how prevalent x86 is for the past 30 years. Apple has been the odd man out when they were still the only guys having a different architecture on their home computer systems in the 90s and 2000s.

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On 4/5/2018 at 8:18 AM, apianti said:

Yes, would become ARMmacOS, lol

No, it would become ARMacOS, because after all, it's OSx86 and not OSXx86.  (And yes I know it's pronounced like OS 10 and not OS ex, but that's not my point!)

On 4/8/2018 at 3:07 AM, Cyberdevs said:

But no worries it's going to be modular, so we can add as much as ARM processors as we like, they sky is the limit ;)

 

Unless Apple keeps their current policy in place (open up your computer, void your warranty).  That's probably the reason the 2013 Mac Pros are less rectangular and more like garbage cans cylindrical.  Because we all know that hacking and modding of Apple stuff never happens!  :whistle::whistle::whistle:

But in all seriousness, I can't see such a move working out.  If they no longer want to rely on Intel, why not switch to AMD (plus it would make our AMD development a heck of a lot easier)?  ARM, whether produced by Apple or outsourced, would create several limitations.  The x86 platform is still used in PC desktops and laptops for a reason.  I find it hard to believe that professional software like FCPX would render well and perform as well on ARM processors and not Intel.  Some might see this as a move to destroy hackintoshes as we know it, but it would also come at a cost for those who want to do the opposite: Use Boot Camp or VM software to install Windows on a Mac.  Sure, Microsoft is developing Windows 10 versions for ARM, equipped with x86 emulator support.  But if you have to run professional software like Premiere CC on an x86 emulator, for the time being, it would definitely take a hit in performance, and it would defeat the purpose of installing Windows on a Mac.

And if they want to streamline macOS with iOS by using the same processors, would that also come with the App Store limitations?  Even Windows, which has its own App Store, doesn't force you to only use apps unless you're using certain versions of Windows (Windows RT, Windows 10 S, etc.).  If you limit the Mac experience to the app store (because let's face it, all the App Store is ever used is to download macOS and other Apple software, and that's it), you downgrade the quality of the experience and make it less attractive.  If Apple made this move, I see it as a suicide mission for the Mac product line.  I definitely don't want to see in a few years posts like "RIP Macintosh (1984-2021)" because of a foolish move for Apple to maintain control over every aspect of computer design.

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Posted (edited)

Regardless of the performance considerations for ARM processors for future Macs, it is not clear that Intel is loosing market share for chips production: we may find that Intel has been developing ARM chips production since 2016:

https://www.theverge.com/2016/8/16/12507568/intel-arm-mobile-chips-licensing-deal-idf-2016

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/intel-to-manufacture-arm-processors-in-a-bet-on-iot-and-premium-smartphones/

https://www.igen.fr/ailleurs/2016/08/intel-va-fabriquer-des-processeurs-arm-pour-les-constructeurs-de-produits-mobiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Loloflat6

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Posted (edited)

First, those stories are two years old, and they just got the 10nm process for x64 with the latest generation. I feel like if anything significant was going on with it something else would have come about in two years. Plus I don't think you understand what that means, Intel is not making ARM chips, ARM is using Intel's custom foundry to make chips for ARM. They are competitors. It is like when Samsung made the ARM-based Apple chips at their foundries, they are direct competitors. The company that currently makes Apple's chips TMSC, is just an independent foundry, they make like every chip on the market, except from Intel, Samsung, STM, and TI, but they all out source processes to TMSC foundries as well. It seems more likely that this is maybe a move to push Apple to only deal with design and Intel, and have Intel worry about the actual manufacturing (also that is alluded to in the verge article which links to a five year old article saying that when they were in legal battles with Samsung, they switched to TMSC, is dealing with only Intel a better/cheaper/more efficient situation?).

Edited by apianti

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Even if they manage to get MACs out 2020 using ARM processors, "beginning 2020..." means that there will be still Intel Macs sold which means with their 5 year support it will be earliest somewhat about 2025 that they can drop updates for Intel Macs. 

But either way, if Apple would go for ARM (since it may have advantages according to battery runtime and size of the devices), other companies will too and there we go again... :)

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Posted (edited)

Looking at the global marketshare, we have 59% mobile devices (increasing) and 41% desktops (decreasing). Like any other company, Apple will focus on the market where the money is.

 

Mainly there are three reasons for Cupertino to switch IMO.

 

First is quantum tunneling. Moore's law will end probably at 2022 because we can't get any smaller in terms of nm without errors and simply adding multi cores does not fix the problem either. This is or should be enough for an exit strategy to leave this CPU technology and look for a new but also downward compatible solution.

 

Second thing I thought of is that Apple by now is developing it's A-Series for years, and particularly the A11 is interesting because it already has a built in a neuronal network hardware part to speed up face recognition and other tasks that can be computed much faster and more efficient with AI than with todays standard architecture alone. So what would you do if you were Apple? I would develop a CPU that can be used in all of my devices, so I can start research and development for the years ahead and use my already available resources.

 

Finally, with Intel stepping back from (or at least delaying the development of) 10nm CPUs (if even possible) this was a clear decision to not be left in some uncertain future.

 

But this does not have to end hackintoshs because the quantum limitation affects all CPU manufactors and there could be the uprise of something fundamental different in the next 2 to 7 years that will still be downward compatible of course.

 

 

Edited by xtraa

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