Apple may shun Intel for custom A-series chips in new Macs within 1-2 years

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  • Reply 61 of 183
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    Actually they switched platforms twice already. 68k to PPC to Intel.
    Compatibility was always a challenge in between. Going from Intel to ARM would kill a big chunk of the current Mac ecosystem in apps.
  • Reply 62 of 183
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by G-News View Post



    Actually they switched platforms twice already. 68k to PPC to Intel.

    Compatibility was always a challenge in between. Going from Intel to ARM would kill a big chunk of the current Mac ecosystem in apps.



    Which Apple is most likely all for-- kill the cruft.  Move forward.  I'm for it too, Apple shouldn't have to play by Intel's roadmap.

  • Reply 63 of 183
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post



    This story is B.S.



    An i3 is a crap Intel processor. For Apple to come out with a slower processor is B.S. particularly with the heavy demands that OS X places on the Mac hardware.

     

    Nah, all they have to do is resrtart and update the megahertz myth.  People will eat it up.

  • Reply 64 of 183
    "Few apps are optimized for more than two cores. That will remain true for some time."


     


    Genuine question- doesn't Grand Central and the new Swift programming language do a lot of the multi-core juggling for developers?
  • Reply 65 of 183
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

    I'm sure for Apple it has always been about How long Intel can continue to do better & faster than what we could do ourselves....and the time is coming where Apple could out pace them by developing for their own needs.

     

    This last year was a prime example of Apple's innovations being held back by reliance on Intel.

     

    Without any doubt, Apple is now in a position to make the processors they need for the machines they want to build, on their own timetable. 

     

    I'm excited about the potential performance of those chips. Apple building for themselves is way better than Apple using off the shelf components built for the entire PC industry.

     

    Just like how iOS devices are able to be near perfect without the need for anyone caring about whats inside....its time for Macs to become that as well.




    This is pretty exciting news. Always felt like it was a matter of when, not if.

     

    Having windows compatibility - not important to Apple. Apple will say, get an A-series Apple computer and then get a Windows machine if you need one.

     

    It feels like Apple has the leverage to make the jump. The tables will turn.

     

    The problem is 10 years from now. We will move beyond chips? Chips can only get so small, or so we think now.

  • Reply 66 of 183
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple already made a switch along these lines once, in a massive transition from IBM's PowerPC chips to Intel's line of processors.

     

    They also switched from Motorola 68000 to PowerPC

  • Reply 67 of 183
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chadbag View Post

     

     

    I am not sure why it couldn't.  PPC Macs ran virtualized Windows.   You probably wouldn't be playing games but you could virtualize the CPU and have 9 or so cores running it for decent performance I would guess.


     

    No it didn't actually. It ran emulated Windows. There's a big difference. Emulating a processor takes a huge performance hit, while virtualizing one does not. Trying to run a modern Windows environment with the Intel chipset emulated on an AX processor would be a horrible exercise.

     

    My company gives us Windows laptops. I choose not to use one. I like running Windows 7 virtualized on my Mac Mini where I can contain my VPN session inside the VM, still having access to the full Internet in the host environment on my Mac. Granted, this is a somewhat specialized use-case, but one that would completely go away if Apple moves from Intel. I really hope Apple understands how many professionals rely on virtualization on our Macs and doesn't eliminate x86 as an option.

  • Reply 68 of 183
    I find it more likely they would include the A series chips in addition to the Intel chips in order to replace the GPU manufacturers who have delivered problem chips to their powerbooks. The getting ever better graphics of the Ax series would solve their graphics problems, reduce their costs, and BTW you would be able to run IOS apps on OSX machines.

    I don't see them replace the Intel CPU though.
  • Reply 69 of 183
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member



    MacBook Air RT?

  • Reply 70 of 183
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,076member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

     

     

    No it didn't actually. It ran emulated Windows. There's a big difference. Emulating a processor takes a huge performance hit, while virtualizing one does not. Trying to run a modern Windows environment with the Intel chipset emulated on an AX processor would be a horrible exercise.

     

    My company gives us Windows laptops. I choose not to use one. I like running Windows 7 virtualized on my Mac Mini where I can contain my VPN session inside the VM, still having access to the full Internet in the host environment on my Mac. Granted, this is a somewhat specialized use-case, but one that would completely go away if Apple moves from Intel. I really hope Apple understands how many professionals rely on virtualization on our Macs and doesn't eliminate x86 as an option.




    For the sense of what we are talking about the difference between strict virtualization and "virtualization" in general (which you labeled emulation, which is still a form of virtualization) is pedantic.   The fact is that todays processors or arrays of processors are vastly more powerful than the old PPC chips with which we emulated windows.   No one is talking about emulating windows on an existing AnX chip.   An array of such chips, however, is a different beast.

  • Reply 71 of 183
    solipsismy wrote: »
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    One thing though, all current computers need to remain Intel-based and any new ARM-based systems will need to be a completely different line of computers, not called MacBook, iMac, etc. There needs to be a clear way for consumers (and developers) to identify which is which.

    That was one avenue I suggested when I made the speculation about the potential for an ARM-based Mac-like computer years ago after the A4* was introduced, but I think it can go either way: not calling it Mac does help prevent confusion, HOWEVER, since I see this placed in the low-end of the Mac market, not necessary a budget machine I could see why Apple would want to call it Mac.

    On top of that, when they talk about their traditional "PC" sales it's easier and better for them to say x-many Macs sold, that doesn't show that unit sales of Macs (i.e.: Intel-based Apple "PCs") declining, which would certainly be the case even if their Intel-based prosumer to professional models were still growing in unit sales, revenues and profits. (This assumes the MBA would be axed and would be some called something else with an Apple A-series chip.)

    With the advent of the Mac App Store (MAS) the conversion from x86_64 to a new Universal standard (x84_64/AArch64) might be tough. Apple has had success with this in the past, especially with Rosetta, although the jump in performance over PPC was so much that the emulation from Rosetta was mostly obscured from the user's perspective. I don't think they'd get that this time, but with so much vertical integration I wouldn't be surprised if Apple did have some tricks up their sleeve in this regard.


    * I was not popular for that comment, but I think people are slowly coming around to the idea.

    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    I'll go one better. I think an ARM chip is going to power the new MacBook Air redesign.

    I'm not as certain but I certainly wouldn't be surprised.

    I predict it will usher in a new breed of computers spanning ARM-only, ARM and Intel, and Intel-only ... for mobile, desktops, servers ...

    And they will include ? in the name!
  • Reply 72 of 183
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,076member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    This is where we get a problem. Few apps are optimized for more than two cores. That will remain true for some time. Remember that there are still a lot of two core CPU's out there. Perhaps half of the current pc's have two core chips. Developers are finding it hard to parallel most apps meaningfully past two cores.



    There are apps such as rendering apps, video editing apps, and a few others that do use numerous cores efficiently. But most don't.



    A problem in assuming that 32 or more cores would be a great thing is in assuming that so many cores would be good for multitasking, but even there, it's questionable, for most users. I have a Mac Pro with two Xeon chips, each with four cores, and eight virtual cores. Since it's easy to monitor how many cores are working, and by how much, I do that fairly often.



    Even during the most arduous tasks, I rarely find most cores are busy, even to the slightest extent. And as for all sixteen cores, well, that almost never happens, and when it does, most of them are running at very low levels.



    So having eight cores would be more than enough for most people.

     

    You missed my point.  I know that most normal day to day apps don't break down into nice neat pieces that you can spread amongst cores.  But when you have lots of cores, you can do other things like put each app on its own core.  The app only runs on the one core but it is not sharing that core with any (or many) other apps.  And the underlying OS can be made to utilize lots of cores, and high end apps will be made to utilize the cores.  So speaking about 32 or 64 cores is reasonable, because the cores are not equal to the cores we have on the desktop today.

     

    I have an older Mac Pro with dual multi core Xeon chips, btw, as well as a quadcore i7 based MBP.

  • Reply 73 of 183
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Misa View Post



    Not happening.



    Every time I see a story like this, all you need to do is look at the use-case, and it falls flat on it's face.

    1) Existing A-series and ARM based parts are still Pentium 3-era speeds on comparable workloads

     

    I want to have the same mushrooms as you did. Or did you just forget sarcasm tag?

     

     

  • Reply 74 of 183
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,249member
    This has been obvious ever since Apple started their own chips for iOS devices. Matter of time only.
  • Reply 75 of 183
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member

    I don't see why this isn't more abundantly obvious to many of you. 

     

     

    1.  ARM is going to own iOS and eventually the lowend OS X devices. 

    2. Intel isn't going away.   MBP, Mac Pro will remain Intel based. 

     

    How can you tell that this is happening. 

     

    Software

     

    Think about how many new API in Yosemite/iOS 8 were announced simultaneously,  Cloud Drive, Extensions, Photokit etc.  and I think we'll see this become a trend.  Both platforms are moving toward parity for good reason. Portability 

     

    Hardware

     

    Apple's not going to do $250 chromebooks but if I could buy a 12" ARM based Mac for my pre-teen for $499 i'd be all over it.  He doesn't need virtualization,  he doesn't need to game (we have an Xbox One)  I need the basics.  Net access,   productivity apps, security.   

     

    An A10X with 8 cores should do the trick.    Not everyone wants to do their work on a tablet.  

     

    How is Apple going to make money?   

     

    Here is your answer. 

     

    Quote:


     Apple® today announced that the first week of January set a new record for billings from the App Store? with customers around the world spending nearly half a billion dollars on apps and in-app purchases, and New Year’s Day 2015 marked the single biggest day ever in App Store sales history. These milestones follow a record-breaking 2014, in which billings rose 50 percent and apps generated over $10 billion in revenue for developers. 


     

    Apple is looking to go wide.   Huge Apple ecosystem where the headphones on your head connect the the iPhone in your pocket which is linked with the Apple Watch on your wrist which connects to your Apple TV at home.   They own the app stores.   If I had to make a prediction for this year it's going to be 

     

    a. Huge changes to the app store.  Everything will be unified from OS X apps to iOS and eventually Apple Watch. Apple will address the top complaints from developers 

     

    b. The MFI program will continue grow, Apple will focus as the licensing body ($$) and ensure compatibility. 

  • Reply 76 of 183
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chadbag View Post

     

     

    You missed my point.  I know that most normal day to day apps don't break down into nice neat pieces that you can spread amongst cores.  But when you have lots of cores, you can do other things like put each app on its own core.  The app only runs on the one core but it is not sharing that core with any (or many) other apps.  And the underlying OS can be made to utilize lots of cores, and high end apps will be made to utilize the cores.  So speaking about 32 or 64 cores is reasonable, because the cores are not equal to the cores we have on the desktop today.

     

    I have an older Mac Pro with dual multi core Xeon chips, btw, as well as a quadcore i7 based MBP.


    You honestly believe if that throwing cores at the problem would solve it, the whole industry would have went there years and years ago?

  • Reply 77 of 183
    I hope the hints in this article that Apple may want to keep the Mac mini more than a silly little media consumption gadget. Quite a few of us work-a-day people don't want our systems down when a display goes bad (iMacs) nor do we need the horsepower of a Mac Pro. The Mac mini is just right for us.
  • Reply 78 of 183
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,076member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by staticx57 View Post

     

    You honestly believe if that throwing cores at the problem would solve it, the whole industry would have went there years and years ago?




    The industry has not had multitudes of cheap, low energy usage, relatively high power cores to play with before.

     

    And they have when you look at servers.   For many of the same reasons, except now, the costs are low enough, potentially, to be tried on the desktop.

     

    No one is "throwing cores" at the problem.  They are reimagining the use of cores to solve the problem.

  • Reply 79 of 183
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chadbag View Post

     



    For the sense of what we are talking about the difference between strict virtualization and "virtualization" in general (which you labeled emulation, which is still a form of virtualization) is pedantic.   The fact is that todays processors or arrays of processors are vastly more powerful than the old PPC chips with which we emulated windows.   No one is talking about emulating windows on an existing AnX chip.   An array of such chips, however, is a different beast.


     

    Oh I tend to disagree, I think it'll be a dog. We'll see though; perhaps the chips that come around in a few generations tailored for desktop use will be more powerful then I imagine them to be. I'm not personally expecting them to be much better than the equivalent of an Atom. If this story is true, however, I hope you're right and I'm wrong!

  • Reply 80 of 183
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post





    Not the expected MBA because it's been delayed waiting for the intel chip... but sometimes this year it could happen. Let's see what comes out at the developer conference.



    I agree -- the whole reason it's delayed is because of Intel. 

     

    But it's because of those kinds of delays (along with Intel's 60% margins) that Apple might want to ditch Intel. Apple could probably cut between $50 and $100 off the price of the low-end MBA if they ditched Intel.

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