Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

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bifo
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Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby bifo » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:25 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... -computers
Chips are down: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Intel shares fall 6% after Apple said to be planning to design chips for computers in-house


Apple is reportedly planning to drop Intel chips from its Mac computers as early as 2020, replacing them with processors designed in-house in the same way the company manufactures iPhones and iPads.

The plan, reported by Bloomberg, has been rumoured for several years, as Apple has taken on more chip design for devices. The company’s A-series of processors, currently capped by the A11 Bionic chips used in the iPhones 8, 8 Plus and X, are all designed by the company for specific purposes, and based on an architecture licensed from British firm ARM.

Rumours of the switch contributed to a 6% drop in Intel’s share price over the course of Monday, adding specific pain to a general collapse in tech stocks caused by fears of oncoming regulation in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal at Facebook.

Bloomberg reports that the initiative “is still in early developmental stages”, but is intended to bring Macs into the same unified architecture that allows all of Apple’s other devices to work together “seamlessly”.

Apple announced its switch to Intel processors in 2005, after years spent building computers on IBM’s powerPC architecture. The change, which arrived in homes with 2006’s MacBook Pro, saw the company take advantage of the huge economies of scale that Intel could offer, with its x86 architecture by far the most popular across the computing industry at the time.

That change required a multi-year switchover program, with Apple developers needing to fully rewrite many programs, and the company shipping an emulator ? Rosetta ? that could run older code at reduced speeds. The same would likely be required if it again decided to switch to an ARM-based architecture.

As Apple has grown into the largest company in the world, it has been able to unlock economies of scale that are not reliant on third-parties. The A series of chips, which tend to debut on iPhones, are reused with minor tweaks on other devices. The iPhone 7’s A10 is now used in the 2018 iPad and 2017 Apple TV, while the iPhone 6’s A8 chip is used in the HomePod.



Well. This doesn't sound like a good idea on any level. :?


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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby spiroyster » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:50 pm

Arp.. was just gonna post this.... ends years of speculation... an ARM compatibility layer found in the macOS code about 3 years ago now....but is there going to be another Intel MacPro?
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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby bifo » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:31 pm

well ms and qualcomm have been working on a server-level ARM chip https://www.qualcomm.com/products/qualc ... -processor

and this register editorial from today points out that apple's ARM chips are superior for single core tasks but inferior to intel on anything multi-core, which is kind of lol because AMD's ryzen stuff is also inferior on single core tasks but massively superior to both on multicore tasks. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/04/0 ... _analysis/

the bigger problem is the question of whether apple is going to reneg on their long stated policy that ios ux and osx ux are totally separate, because of these questions:

1. ios is a closed environment and apple must keep it that way to survive, but osx is an open environment and if you're using osx you expect access to the underlying system which ios cannot possibly allow without giving root access. if things are merged then either they destroy their ability to control the ios marketplace or they cripple osx.

2. the ux metaphors are so diametrically opposed that its impossible to integrate them without destroying one or the other, and ios has a much larger userbase so we know which way that will go. the only potential solution is one underlying kernel and system base but two desktop managers, essentially, which works on unixen but for consumers? they could bank on the idea that nobody who buys an ios chromebook-equivalent will bother buying an osx computer, but given how much more money they make on ios and how little attention they've paid to the osx people for years, why bother making more work by maintaining that desktop? which leads to...

3. if you use OSX for a specific application, particularly a professional one, why on earth would you put up with yet another architecture change? this will be architecture number 4 for apple and they genuinely do not seem to care about looking after their loyalist OSX fans and power users (admins, designers, etc) as they have shown by not really doing much of anything with their performance lines for years. these rumors have been circulating for years but back in 2012 that was easily waved away because it was just the common ancestry of osx and ios, may as well work on both in tandem on both arm and intel, but arm isn't going to catch up to x64 for professional needs for a long time. apple may have realized that they aren't making any meaningful income from professionals, they've just managed to maintain their educational connections in the US and their chic-factor and enough kids have gotten a chance to use an ios device at some point that they can angle for the upscale phone/tablet/chromebook market. given how their collusion with cell companies marks up what are essentially rent-to-own phones in camouflage and how tremendous the international market is based on brand cachet, why would they keep bothering with people like us who know enough to expect more of them instead of accepting things as they are?

--

oh and number 4 would be: if you've been using OSX professionally, and you're old enough to either remember the ppc-> intel transition or at least old enough to have heard stories about how difficult it actually was for professional software on OSX, the entire idea of switching to a new architecture should seem insane. the extra cost of buying the same software yet again for a new architecture makes approximately zero sense, because you could lose tens of thousands of dollars based on the whim of some bean counter at apple or some marketer at the distributor of whatever software it is. meanwhile, you could build a top class x64 intel/amd computer running the windows version of your preference (i still think 7 will last longer than XP because vista and 8 combined to defeat windows Me and microsoft bob) and drop the cost to switch back and not need to worry about anything but upgrades whenever you felt it necessary.

i dont like windows on any level but its like buying a toyota, it may be a bit of a pig but unless they lose their minds it works well enough to get things done.
Last edited by foetz on Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby foetz » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:06 pm

bifo wrote:heard stories about how difficult it actually was for professional software on OSX, the entire idea of switching to a new architecture should seem insane. the extra cost of buying the same software yet again for a new architecture makes approximately zero sense

times have changed. think of how many companies offer rental plans for their software already and that's gonna be much more at the time the new apple gear might arrive. for adobe stuff for example it might just be as much effort as downloading a new version.

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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby bifo » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:30 am

foetz wrote:
bifo wrote:heard stories about how difficult it actually was for professional software on OSX, the entire idea of switching to a new architecture should seem insane. the extra cost of buying the same software yet again for a new architecture makes approximately zero sense

times have changed. think of how many companies offer rental plans for their software already and that's gonna be much more at the time the new apple gear might arrive. for adobe stuff for example it might just be as much effort as downloading a new version.

That's a good point but I dont know enough about the current inner workings of, for example, video editing software, to know whether or not they use multiple cores these days, which intel does a lot better than ARM and AMD might do better than intel soon enough.

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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby foetz » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:08 pm

sure but that's the developer's problem. i was referring to your: "the extra cost of buying the same software yet again for a new architecture makes approximately zero sense"

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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby Shiunbird » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:02 am

At this point, I don't care that much, but it would be lovely to see some serious investment in non x86/amd64 end-user facing workstations and laptops.
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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby bifo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:52 pm

Shiunbird wrote:At this point, I don't care that much, but it would be lovely to see some serious investment in non x86/amd64 end-user facing workstations and laptops.

I do agree a bit with that, but the real issue with this is that they may go more towards iOS instead of OSX. they want a closed ecosystem, just like microsoft tried to do with win8, and the terrifying possibility is that they will try to use a closed ecosystem unix environment as a primary OS.

ARM may reach that point, but then, why would you pay a premium for OSX? I'd rather run linux, and i'd never use it for anything serious. an AMD ryzen should do better in the multi-threaded applications, and be cheaper.

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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby foetz » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:27 pm

well apple are not stupid. if they didn't think they had an advantage by the time this will be on sale they wouldn't do it

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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:58 pm

I do agree a bit with that, but the real issue with this is that they may go more towards iOS instead of OSX.


That is absolutely my fear, and another reason why I'm just giving up completely on modern Macs. I'll probably buy a high-end ARM Chromebook and wipe it for Linux for my next laptop; I'm all in on the Talos for my workstation needs. I'm not continuing to Because I Got High Sierra anyway.
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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby pentium » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:39 pm

foetz wrote:well apple are not stupid. if they didn't think they had an advantage by the time this will be on sale they wouldn't do it


This is a company who thought they were bold by making a cellphone without a headphone jack and a mouse you can't use while charging.
Apple may be smart in that they know how to make products their core consumers want but eventually there comes a point where screwing over everyone who is not the bottom line comes back to bite you?
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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby guardian452 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:33 pm

MacOS becomes exclusively devtool for i-devices. News at 11.

Seriously, the writing has been on the wall for years. Ax chips growing leaps and bounds every year and Intel tick-tocking along for the last decade or so.

It’s not enough for the new to be faster than the old; if it’s like PPC transition the new must *emulate* the old faster than the old ran natively. However software distribution is a lot better than it was back then, Apple could flip a switch and everything in the MAS recompiled overnight.

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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby foetz » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:37 pm

sure they might mess it up but i'm just not sad about the possibility of a non-x86 desktop box with proper software support. whether that'll be a success or not? time will tell.

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Re: Apple to stop using Intel processors in Macs, reports say

Unread postby GIJoe » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:37 am

if it's going to be an incompatible architecture are we going to go back to those dorky CPU-speed-comparison videos then?

oh well. apple only became interesting to me after they went intel due to sudden app availability/ease of porting and speed, would be a shame to see them switch again to some niche where this is again being an issue.


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