Apple looking to develop custom ARM chips for future Macs, cutting out Intel - report

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  • Reply 61 of 159
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    I have my Money ready. 2018 to 2020 will be the Year, Apple will make macOS Great Again!!!
  • Reply 62 of 159
    I have my Money ready. 2018 to 2020 will be the Year, Apple will make macOS Great Again!!!

    MMOGA
    RacerhomieX
  • Reply 63 of 159
    "but it does seem like an obvious move."

    Its a move that Apple "could" make but not an obvious move they "will" make. 
  • Reply 64 of 159
    I have my Money ready. 2018 to 2020 will be the Year, Apple will make macOS Great Again!!!
    I think Apple’s plan is to run on iOS moving forward. IBM is betting on iOS too. 

    I use use an iPad Pro, and subsequently find I use my iMac far less than before. Furthermore, Apple’s App Store makes 30% on iOS software. It’s the future of Apple. 

    The iOS, watch OS mix-up is where Apple’s future lies...
    RacerhomieXradarthekat
  • Reply 65 of 159
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,523member
    I have my Money ready. 2018 to 2020 will be the Year, Apple will make macOS Great Again!!!
    MacOS is already great. So, not sure what is beyond great ?
  • Reply 66 of 159
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,030member
    sog35 said:
    Does this mean going back to the days of most programs being incompatible with Mac like with the Power PC? No bootcamp anymore? 
    who cares about Window's programs? Very few.

    If Apple releases an A-chip desktop for $199-$299 they will sell a boat load of them.  And devs will be forced to bring over their Apps to A-chip desktop platform.
    How delusional do you have to be to imagine Apple releasing a desktop in that range? I mean, what in their history even makes that a REMOTE possibility? 
    singularity
  • Reply 67 of 159
    Would be amazing if Apple had both Intel and ARM in one machine. Leverage the power and versatility (GPU/CPU, etc etc) of the A chips with the versitality (Windows compatibility) of Intel and you would have one hell of a beast on your hands. 
  • Reply 68 of 159
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,297member
    wood1208 said:
    Much as all Apple fans want MacOS on Apple ARM, ain't happening in near future. Switch possible in late 2020 or early 2021 if progress on ARM performance with low power matrix continue to improve. Intel while improving performance on every generation of X86 chips, also keeping TDP lower.
    Ain’t happening... until it happens.
  • Reply 69 of 159
    thttht Posts: 2,820member
    sog35 said:
    k2kw said:
    sog35 said:
    Does this mean going back to the days of most programs being incompatible with Mac like with the Power PC? No bootcamp anymore? 
    who cares about Window's programs? Very few.

    If Apple releases an A-chip desktop for $199-$299 they will sell a boat load of them.  And devs will be forced to bring over their Apps to A-chip desktop platform.
    Apple would never bother with a laptop or computer as cheap as $299 .

    Although I would love for therm to produce a iOSBook - one at $250 with polycarbonate body for young kids and a premium on at 899 and up,
    Apple would not bother with a $299 laptop. But desktop?  I think they would. They already sell a $499 MacMini.

    Maybe $349 would be more realistic.

    Apple already sells the ATV for $149.  Why not a desktop for $200 more?

    At $349 Apple would make a huge dent in the business market.  Selling in bulk could drop it to $299.

    Heh, if benchmarks are to be believed, the $180 Apple TV 4K outperforms the $500 Mac mini in a few different ways, or the base model iMac 21.5". I don't think Apple uses an Intel CPU with an MSRP under $250, and they have a whole computer box right now that performs at about the same levels for 30% less. Would not be a bad gaming machine at 1080p either. 

    It won't take much work to make the Apple TV 4K into a serviceable computer for a whole lot of people. The days of a headless computer in every kids' room might be over though. 
  • Reply 70 of 159
    "No specific details beyond industry chatter were shared by the report regarding the shift to ARM"

    Blah blah blah... rumor mill business as usual. Wake me when there're actual facts to report... Till then, my standard reply: this will be a monster of software developer complaints, feet dragging, and cost to consumers, but that's not to say it wont happen, as it has happened before...
    williamlondon
  • Reply 71 of 159
    Does this mean going back to the days of most programs being incompatible with Mac like with the Power PC? No bootcamp anymore? 
    Windows 10 apps are coming to ARM. (https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/7/13866936/microsoft-windows-10-arm-desktop-apps-support-qualcomm) Apple can still have bootcamp. Don't worry, you can have your Windows apps on an Apple Arm Desktop Notebook, if you really, really wish.
  • Reply 72 of 159
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    wood1208 said:
    I have my Money ready. 2018 to 2020 will be the Year, Apple will make macOS Great Again!!!
    MacOS is already great. So, not sure what is beyond great ?

    better integrated apps, a bit cheaper computer. More integrated parts.
    Better Battery life.
  • Reply 73 of 159
    I think it is more likely we’ll see continued development of ARM co-processors in Macs.
    Yes I think the next major move.would be to bring the Arm co- processor much closer to the cente. If they can do a deal with an x86 provider they could make the A11 the platform hub and bring all the power savings of i devices to Macs. 
  • Reply 74 of 159
    adbe said:
    smalm said:
    Apple replacing Intel with ARM? Must be the first time ever we hear about that  :p
    What you missing here is stats on how Apple A-chips started to perform recently. Combining that with the fact that Intel is kind of stagnant and Apple doing its own R&D on their own A-chips, I think they will get there eventually. They are not happy with the fact that some company have their IP in Apple's products which they can sell to other companies too. 
    Ignore the benchmarks.  ARM chips are a long way from competing with Intel parts.  In a couple of years, the generally underpowered MacBook will probably make the transition, but even if Apple could guarantee that Adobe and MS would release their stuff for ARM in short order, the ARM chips simply don't have the grunt for the kinds of work that people expect to be able to do on mid-spec iMacs, and MacBook Pros.
    One of the two gods managing computing affairs is named Battery, the other is named Heat. Fanless computing may be the ultimate goal of Apple. Why an 15 inch Retina Macbook wouldn’t be possible for example? Core M is able to drive such a display but their specs don’t give much information about battery and heat issues to make a guesstimate about 15 inch. Which one will develop faster? Core M or A series? If A series develops faster than Core M then I guess Apple won’t hesitate to launch the first A series Macbook with full power of macOS ported to A series. BootCamp or other applications are not dealbreakers for such a Macbook.
  • Reply 75 of 159
    adbe said:
    smalm said:
    Apple replacing Intel with ARM? Must be the first time ever we hear about that  :p
    What you missing here is stats on how Apple A-chips started to perform recently. Combining that with the fact that Intel is kind of stagnant and Apple doing its own R&D on their own A-chips, I think they will get there eventually. They are not happy with the fact that some company have their IP in Apple's products which they can sell to other companies too. 
    Ignore the benchmarks.  ARM chips are a long way from competing with Intel parts.  In a couple of years, the generally underpowered MacBook will probably make the transition, but even if Apple could guarantee that Adobe and MS would release their stuff for ARM in short order, the ARM chips simply don't have the grunt for the kinds of work that people expect to be able to do on mid-spec iMacs, and MacBook Pros.
    One of the two gods managing computing affairs is named Battery, the other is named Heat. Fanless computing may be the ultimate goal of Apple. Why an 15 inch Retina Macbook wouldn’t be possible for example? Core M is able to drive such a display but their specs don’t give much information about battery and heat issues to make a guesstimate about 15 inch. Which one will develop faster? Core M or A series? If A series develops faster than Core M then I guess Apple won’t hesitate to launch the first A series Macbook with full power of macOS ported to A series. BootCamp or other applications are not dealbreakers for such a Macbook.
    "If A series develops faster than Core M then I guess Apple won’t hesitate to launch the first A series Macbook with full power of macOS ported to A series."

    If this does happen, I don't envision the full-power of macOS coming to an ARM-based Mac. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a version of macOS that's akin to MS' Windows 10S => a macOS that runs ONLY App Store apps & only Intel-based Macs will have the full power of macOS that Mac users enjoy today.
  • Reply 76 of 159
    wood1208 said:
    Much as all Apple fans want MacOS on Apple ARM, ain't happening in near future. Switch possible in late 2020 or early 2021 if progress on ARM performance with low power matrix continue to improve. Intel while improving performance on every generation of X86 chips, also keeping TDP lower.
    Most (very, very far from "all") Apple fans couldn't care less what chip is inside their Mac.  Actually most Apple fans don't even own Macs probably.

      You can tell the older Mac users by how stubborn they cling to Intel.  I remember the days of Macs getting their PPC clocks cleaned by Intel computers half the cost.   There is a fear that moving away from Intel will lead us back there but times have changed.   What we see in mobile devices with regard to integration other co-processors is going to come to Mac OS.    You're going to see specialized AI chips,  chips to handle realtime video and fast GPU to do heavy compute. 

    Desktops have stagnated not because people love mobile devices so much but because all the innovation got sucked out the platform when everything went Wintel.    Neither Intel nor MSFT would take any real risk thus we have been subjected to a decade of evolutionary "ho hum" upgrades. 

    I don't know if Apple is going to play disruptor but they are uniquely positioned to change how desktop computing is done for the next generation. 
    "older"?  hell  I still have my 040 NextStation.    The issue isn't the 'user'...the issue is the software.   How much software do you have that 'just works' and there is no one around to port the code to ASeries?   5%? 25%...

    Apple has had an Aseries Mac running probably since the A6.  I've stated in the past that whenever Apple Brings Intel in to discuss chip delivery and performance specs, I'm sure someone 'hints' that the ASeries Mac is running in the labs, and offers to show it to them... just to prove to Intel they are not wedded to Intel chipsets.

    Moving MacOSX from PowerSeries to Intel was wasn't a hard thing to do for Apple, it was a hard thing to do for developers, and therefore for the users, because if the software isn't there, it's just a cool piece of useless silicon.

    The problem with PowerSeries was the 'big' player for the chips were gaming stations, not Apple, and apple wanted cool running battery sipping laptops, not  120V power bricked computers (well they wanted them too, but Apple saw the portable market as the winner).

    So yes,  the ASeries/iOS  is the right model' but will the A series see the same performance with MacOS... no.

    Has anyone considered why the ASeries chip performs so fast with iOS?   did you ever think it's because it's hyper tuned to the the OS and the computing profile.  
    So, having a different set of libraries to support a 'desktop' will pretty much require a different chip... optimized for different things.   
    so will Apple come out with a special chip for the Mac  say a B1 chip?

    MacOS on ARM  won't disrupt desktop computing,  because the UX will remain the same, just faster.  That's the thing with desktop computing... it's just a box with a monitor and keyboard and a mouse.   Apple will be able to make it faster on a tighter turnaround time, because of being able to tune the chip to the OS and the OS to the chip better.
    So they eke out a few more sales maybe even double their share, and a few more percent profit...  

    If that is disrupting, well great...   but it will disrupt for what... 5% of the worlds population... tops.   The computer in your pocket ... that's the 3+Billion user marketplace.
    In short, Apple... keep your eyes on the prize.   the portable, handheld, voice/bio-interactive computer.   
    hmurchisonradarthekat
  • Reply 77 of 159
    adbe said:
    smalm said:
    Apple replacing Intel with ARM? Must be the first time ever we hear about that  :p
    What you missing here is stats on how Apple A-chips started to perform recently. Combining that with the fact that Intel is kind of stagnant and Apple doing its own R&D on their own A-chips, I think they will get there eventually. They are not happy with the fact that some company have their IP in Apple's products which they can sell to other companies too. 
    Ignore the benchmarks.  ARM chips are a long way from competing with Intel parts.  In a couple of years, the generally underpowered MacBook will probably make the transition, but even if Apple could guarantee that Adobe and MS would release their stuff for ARM in short order, the ARM chips simply don't have the grunt for the kinds of work that people expect to be able to do on mid-spec iMacs, and MacBook Pros.
    One of the two gods managing computing affairs is named Battery, the other is named Heat. Fanless computing may be the ultimate goal of Apple. Why an 15 inch Retina Macbook wouldn’t be possible for example? Core M is able to drive such a display but their specs don’t give much information about battery and heat issues to make a guesstimate about 15 inch. Which one will develop faster? Core M or A series? If A series develops faster than Core M then I guess Apple won’t hesitate to launch the first A series Macbook with full power of macOS ported to A series. BootCamp or other applications are not dealbreakers for such a Macbook.
    "If A series develops faster than Core M then I guess Apple won’t hesitate to launch the first A series Macbook with full power of macOS ported to A series."

    If this does happen, I don't envision the full-power of macOS coming to an ARM-based Mac. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a version of macOS that's akin to MS' Windows 10S => a macOS that runs ONLY App Store apps & only Intel-based Macs will have the full power of macOS that Mac users enjoy today.
    Apple won’t release an iOS laptop, no need to discuss this further. Just search for “toaster-fridge”. Those guys are Mach kernel wizards since NextStep and they didn’t hesitate to go commando err... Metal at least twice, Metal-2... Also they are simplifying macOS UI concurrently since the release of iOS 7. We are now less dependent on multi windowing on the Mac compared to 10.5 Leopard. Intel’s power comes from hyper threading but if you own both the operating system and the CPU even that may not be an issue given the benefits fanless computing will provide.
    edited September 2017 williamlondon
  • Reply 78 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,536member
    rob53 said:
    sog35 said:
    Imagine a desktop running on A-chips?

    They would be amazing. And amazingly cheap.

    Throw a A11 and 128GB in a small package.  You basically have a PC replacement for $199.

    **Come on TIMMY. CHANGE THE GAME.**

    A cheap $199-$299 Apple A-class desktop would DOMINATE the home/office PC market. 
    Forget what the naysayers on this site are saying, especially when you look at the inroads Apple has been making with enterprise systems. Someone mentioned a netbook and this is all many government and enterprise installations would need. The "cloud" is where it's at, again. Remember when we had client-server systems, then along came the Mac and made (individual) desktop publishing the in thing? I do, because I lived through it, having to transition from a large client server publishing system to supporting a bunch of Macs. After a few months, I totally agreed with the transition because Macs had the software and ability to handle publishing. Fast forward twenty years and we're seeing more and more applications being hosted on servers with ever more powerful computers accessing them. Throw in the security aspects of a properly configured and secured enterprise local-cloud (remember, we've done this before) and you have the ability to offload processing onto the local system while maintaining all data on the servers. This also allows systems to be run "diskless" so no persistent data is stored locally. Apple is pushing for everything to go through iCloud or through its partner servers (IBM and other specialized systems). When you look at a base iPhone 8 Plus with the ability to drive an HD level monitor (1920x1080), what more do enterprise desk jobs really need? The A11 and extra chips already have the ability to secure local storage so go ahead and load the OS and keep just about everything else on the servers. Turn your enterprise desktop system off when you leave, which is what people are supposed to do but rarely do, and you have the makings of a top-flight system without spending a ton of money. $199 might be a little low but not when purchased in bulk while adding the cost of input devices (keyboard/mouse/touchpad) and a monitor (touchscreen or not). Remember, 99% of office users don't need a 4 or 5K monitor. You can get a 1920x1080 Viewsonic 22" IPS LED HD monitor for $110. This would be an upgrade for many office workers. Apple could sell a complete all-in-one office network system for under $500 and that would dominate the market.
    While I don't agree with this completely, mainly to the server centric view you have, I do believe it is in Apple best interest to pursue its own chips for desktops and laptops.   The reasoning is a bit than yours though, I believe they need access to the silicon to realize the "Mac" systems of the future.   Here my concern is with the development and integration of ML and later AI hardware into the chips, but near term an Apple based GPU also adds advantages.   It boils down to control and I'm not sure the tIntel or And wish to offer that much access to their chips.   Both Intel and AMD do custom but the level of access Apple needs goes significantly beyond what either of these companies currently do.

    Think of it this way, how receptive would people be to a Mac Book that added the same features Apple currently offers in the iPhone.   For example cameras that do real time processing on the images/videos.   Or how about the voice processing hardware supported by machine learning enhancements in the processor.   Give the laptop a cell option for cellular networking too (I'm not sure why Apple hasn't done this yet).   How about an optimized GPU?

    By the way I don't expect Apple to launch a Mac based directly on A11 or A11X, I rather expect a laptop or desktop tailored chip.  The reasoning is simple, you optimize the hardware for the power available and the heat that can be controlled.  In the case of the MacBook the power point isn't that far away from A11 now, for the other desktops and laptops the power available is significantly more (even if Apple cuts the design power in half).   In such environments Apple would design a processor with more execution units running at higher clock rates.   When we talk about an ARM based laptop it doesn't mean a direct plant of an A11 into the machine.   The chip might have the same general cores but would be highly optimized for the environment.    Remember everything about the current ARM processors from Apple have been designed for max performance at the lowest possible power draw.   Change the power point even slightly and the chip can suddenly have far more execution units, caches and wider bus interfaces.   
    LukeCage
  • Reply 79 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,536member


    karmadave said:
    Here we go again. Apple is NOT abandoning Intel on the Mac! I wouldn't be surprised however to see an AMD processor show up, in the Mac, at some point.

    MacOS = Intel/x86
    iOS = ARM

    Any questions?
    I'd be surprised.  Apple gains nothing by going with AMD.   I don't think Apple abandons Intel entirely but they are likely going to shift a majority of their high volume hardware running Mac OS to ARM within a couple of years. 


    Apple gains the ability to negotiate with Intel.   Besides AMD has done more custom chips for the mainstream than Intel has.    Ultimately I think Apple really has to go ARM and frankly it is for the same reasons they went custom in iPhone.   I've said it before but the SOC is the PCB of the past and is where technology gets implemented.   
    hmurchison
  • Reply 80 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,536member

    tipoo said:

    1) Dooo it, dooo it. I want to see if they could do any better than Intel, at least start with some trial products like an ATV sized Mac Mini, or the 12" Macbook (so the 'pros' still have a year of x86 higher end macs at least). 
    2) These rumours always come roaring back whenever re-negotiations with Intel start, so take them for what they are.

    I think their homemade GPU would be an easier inflection point, GPUs follow API standards rather than having problems porting ISAs like processors

    Here is the thing, most recent Mac software are written to API standards.   Recompiling for ARM won't be a big deal for most software already running on a Mac.   Swift just reinforces this as it offers many modern features that Objective C never did.   A lot of people get bent out of shape due to "intel compatibility" but Apple sells far more IOS PC replacements in iPad and that has never had Intel support.   to many are living in the past when it comes to Intel required.

    I do like the idea of an AppleTV sized Mac.    Make the whole case an aluminum injection molding and fasten the logic board directly to the aluminum base heat sink style.   This would be a no fan solution.  My only concern is that they offer some  sort of PCI based SSD expansion slot.   Give the unit 8 GBytes of memory and that would solve most users PC needs if they can hit 13" MBP speeds.   Considering A11 already has more processors and a chip for Macs would be an upgrade over the A11 this should be easy to do.   Such a PC could easily be designed to operate in the 5 -10 watt range (continuous power) but 10 watts is really close to fan required.  Hell they could recycle some of the networking hardware case concepts to better manage power.   
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