ARM Based Mac.

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited September 2014

If Apple ever consider making the switch, I am sure this will be very help to them

 

Translate x86 Machine Code Into LLVM Bitcode

http://blog.trailofbits.com/2014/08/07/mcsema-is-officially-open-source/

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ksec View Post

     

    If Apple ever consider making the switch, I am sure this will be very help to them

     

    Translate x86 Machine Code Into LLVM Bitcode

    http://blog.trailofbits.com/2014/08/07/mcsema-is-officially-open-source/


    Frankly, if it really works well, and if Apple integrates such a function into their Xcode, this will mostly help the developer, who will have the second thoughts about porting their apps. Apple has to give the big developers the compelling reason to use extra time and resources to port their apps. Regarding Apple, I'm sure all the in-house work, like OS X and their own apps have already been taken care of!

  • Reply 2 of 6
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post

     

    If Apple ever consider making the switch, I am sure this will be very help to them

     

    Translate x86 Machine Code Into LLVM Bitcode

    http://blog.trailofbits.com/2014/08/07/mcsema-is-officially-open-source/


    Frankly, IMHO, if this function is added to Xcode, it would be mostly beneficial for big developers, who would have second thoughts about porting their apps right away! Regarding Apple, I think the most of the home work (OS X, iLife, etc..) is already done!!!? 

  • Reply 3 of 6
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    i see little value in this bit of software for most developers, especially if they are already developing with XCode. XCode is already setup to cross compile to different architectures which is basically what you are doing whe you write an iOS app. If you want you can generate bit code.
    The problem is this can they really generate effcient bitccode from i86 code suitable for retarder ting other hardware. I suppose it would work if you had no oerfect choice, for example a legacy app where the developer no longer supports the code. For just about everything else generating your bitccode from C++ source code and then from there to the hardware makes far more sensemble.

    So it sounds like we are in agreement here.
    jackson83 wrote: »
    Frankly, IMHO, if this function is added to Xcode, it would be mostly beneficial for big developers, who would have second thoughts about porting their apps right away! Regarding Apple, I think the most of the home work (OS X, iLife, etc..) is already done!!!? 

    I'm convinced that Apple has ARM based development platforms running Mac OS/X right now. So again we seem to be in agreement. The question then becomes what is the purpose of this hardware (other than keeping the code base portable). I would think the primary purpose would be to keep pressure on Intel. Let's face it A7 isn't far at all from being able to take on Intel in the portables space including more traditional laptops. Moving to ARM isn't a technical problem anymore but rather a marketing one.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

     
    i see little value in this bit of software for most developers, especially if they are already developing with XCode. XCode is already setup to cross compile to different architectures which is basically what you are doing whe you write an iOS app. If you want you can generate bit code.

    The problem is this can they really generate effcient bitccode from i86 code suitable for retarder ting other hardware. I suppose it would work if you had no oerfect choice, for example a legacy app where the developer no longer supports the code. For just about everything else generating your bitccode from C++ source code and then from there to the hardware makes far more sensemble.



    So it sounds like we are in agreement here.

    I'm convinced that Apple has ARM based development platforms running Mac OS/X right now. So again we seem to be in agreement. The question then becomes what is the purpose of this hardware (other than keeping the code base portable). I would think the primary purpose would be to keep pressure on Intel. Let's face it A7 isn't far at all from being able to take on Intel in the portables space including more traditional laptops. Moving to ARM isn't a technical problem anymore but rather a marketing one.

     

    We're totally in the agreement! )

    On the marketing side of things, Apple, like no one else, can justify beautifully their product decisions! (Can't innovate anymore my ass - Phil ))) )

     

    Regarding their own SoC, I think (or probably hope) that they have something up their sleeve! A8 with "desktop" features, like memory controller, PCIe based storage, higher cpu and frequency, something fancy in terms of graphics, based on latest PowerVR stuff, which would be suitable for the "desktop" - notebook! 

    Anyway based on your posting history, you surely know much more about these technicalities than me.

  • Reply 5 of 6
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    jackson83 wrote: »
    We're totally in the agreement! )
    On the marketing side of things, Apple, like no one else, can justify beautifully their product decisions! (Can't innovate anymore my ass - Phil ))) )
    The problem with an ARM based laptop is that I would love such a machine, if it provided suitable performance. However there is a massive number of individuals tied to i86 that couldn't consider such a machine. In fact for work it would be out of the question for me. I'm just not convinced there are enough people like me to justify an ARM based laptop. When I say laptop here I mean an open machine running Mac OS.
    Regarding their own SoC, I think (or probably hope) that they have something up their sleeve! A8 with "desktop" features, like memory controller, PCIe based storage, higher cpu and frequency, something fancy in terms of graphics, based on latest PowerVR stuff, which would be suitable for the "desktop" - notebook! 
    Some of that stuff can easily be tacked on to Apple existing hardware. As for clock rate we have no idea how fast Apples current A7 can go. I'm pretty sure it has overhead and that Apple takes a very conservative approach in assigning clock rates to keep the chip cool and to increase yields.
    Anyway based on your posting history, you surely know much more about these technicalities than me.

    That I don't know. What I do know is that there are many issues outside the technical ones that drive Apple to do or not do things. At this point I don't beleive there is a technical problem with ARM based laptops. It is simply a matter of Apple being willing.
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