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

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  • Reply 81 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,430member

    adbe 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.

    They're going to release a full desktop for less than their cheapest iPad?  Your math is off.
    most desktops now are in that range (no keyboard no mouse no monitor... ZeroClients).

    But apple would never sell another device without an integrated monitor.   So figure a 21" $699 iMac.
    This is one of the reasons Apple is having troubles moving the Mini, it is priced way to high for the chip sets installed.    Now we can blame Apple or Intel for the tissue but the fact remains you can buy many different PCs in the same general performance range for half the price of the Mini.   The thing that costs the most in these PC's is the processor chip which explains the wide array of processor chips in Intel NUC computers.   So if Apple throws out the most expensive component and replaces it with something that costs them $50 to $75 dollars, added to the rest of the components we might have a total cost of $250 for components - that makes it easy to sell the machine in the $300 plus range.   Most of the additional cost would come from SSD storage which is highly variable and would cost Apple anywhere from $30 to $300.

    The problem I see with you is the you think inexpensive means shoddy.   Nothing could be farther from the truth here.    The fact is Apple has repeatedly screwed up the stand alone Mac market with devices that weren't competitive at all.   I mean this in all honesty here as I weighted the product lineup many times and came to the same conclusion, Apples monitor free desktop Macs are a pricing joke with all value currently residing in the laptop range.   Why they became so out of sync with the market is beyond me but a Mini is hardly the entry level Mac it once was.
  • Reply 82 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,430member

    The ARM chip will probably become standard issue on Macs to handle things like Face ID, long before it takes over main processing duties for macOS apps.
    Well if you need Arm for that you might as well build the whole machine around ARM.   In any event this is why I see ARM based Macs in our future, it allows Apple to deliver a lot of new tech that it can't deliver with Intel without the addition of other hardware thus expense.   
    radarthekat
  • Reply 83 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,430member
    sog35 said:
    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.
    Uh the A11 is already close to the Intel chips in the Macbook


    Yep and that is while running in a cell phone.   People lack the imagination to realize that other platforms don't have that limitation.   If Apple follows current trends they will have an A11X in the iPad due to the machines ability to handle a bit more power.  Take this a step or two farther and imagine a desktop or laptop machine (still passively cooled) which can handle a bit more power.  The next step is obviously active cooling which gives you another boost in power handling.

    The one thing we don't know about Apples chips is where they top out at with the current processes.   That is how fast can they run clock wise.   We also don't know how much power dissipation is required on current implementations to stop throttling when and if it occurs.    So it is a bit of a joke to listen to people saying A11 doesn't have the capability to drive a laptop when clearly it already does even in a cellphone package.   The reality is you would likely get better performance out of todays A11 simply due to better thermal handling in a laptop before you even added clock speed or tweaked the implementation with more cores or other features.  Frankly A11X isn't far away as I would expect an iPad update soon so a tweaked A11 is already a reality which likely would do even better in a Mac Book.

    I really don't think people think through their negative comments about an ARM based Mac.   As you note the chips from Apple are already and Mac Book level while running in a cell phone.   
  • Reply 84 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,430member

    slurpy 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.
    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? 
    Apple TV, Watch (not anywhere near as expensive as it could be), Touch (along with most iPods ever sold), probably a few others.

    In any event if Apple wants to play in the desktop market at all they need good machines that don't cost a fortune!!!!!   The lates emac Minis sort of completely destroyed any faith people had in the desktop line up as they where far too expensive for what they contained.    Hard to justify really.   Honestly they could have introduced better machines with AMD hardware in them.   

    It comes back to being able to offer a machine that offers good performance yet allows Apple to generate decent income from.   They can't do that with expensive desktop hardware that doesn't offer anything over the mainstream offerings.   Going ARM allows Apple to offer unique features that create interest yet allows them to sell at a competitive price point.   I'd still expect a cost premium but that is only compared to PC's with dissimilar features.   
  • Reply 85 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,430member
    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. 
    """""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?"""""
    You missed the point of some of the benchmarks that A11 has been so good at, the benchmarks are in many cases testing processor performance not system performance.   Processor engineers tune the cores to run code fast, that applies to all work loads the chip runs.   AS for the OS it is largely the same as Mac OS under the hood so to speak, anything that is operating system gated on iOS works similarly on Mac OS.

    As far as different chips for different things isn't that exactly what Intel and AMD do as a chip suitable for a laptop really isn''t a good fit in a power users workstation.   The point here is the A11 in a CELL PHONE already manages to perform on the same level as a Mac Book.   An A11X isn't far away so we will likely get even better performance out of the A11X in a Mac Book.   The Mac Book affords us better power handling (heat) so you will likely gain just from less  thermal throttling and maybe pick up a faster base clock rate over an iPad.  

    As for libraries, you do realize that iOS comes with many of the same libraries already right?   Much of the underlying operating system is the same or nearly the same in the iOS and the Mac OS flavors so porting is largely done.   These libraries aren't running off different chips at all, they run on the A series just the same as on the Macs.   Now obviously to paint an ARM chip in a higher performance machine than the Mac Book will require a different chip (just ass it does with Intel hardware).   However nothing changes as far as libraries and support.    In the end yes I suspect Apple will come out with a special chip just for the Mac, just like it uses a variety of chips in the Mac now.   Those chips will be designed to take advantage of the extra power handling capability in the Macs primarily by throwing far more cores at the operation system.   

    You should like you are in some sort of panic over the fact that Apple would have to design another chip to power the higher end Macs.   Personally I think that they have no choice in the manner as it doesn't seem like Intel nor AMD want to give them the access they need to make a Mac with features from the current iPhones.   They either go with an ARM SoC or add a dedicated chip to an intel i86 board.  Using i86 plus Apple hardware just becomes expensive.    They need to be able to add some of the same features to Macs that are now showing up in the iPhone and that is best done with dedicated hardware.
  • Reply 86 of 159
    Just think HomePod meets Apple TV equals a real Mac mini that can run your entire house and store 1tb
  • Reply 87 of 159
    sog35 said:
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    appex said:
    Did Apple learn from the PowerPC fiasco? Full (as much as possible) compatibility with the rest (95%) of the world (read, Windows) is a must. That requires Intel x86 inside Mac. Otherwise, we will be forced to switch to Windows. A shame for all!
    sorry bro.

    but windozes in no where as important as it was in 1990.
    As of a year ago...

    Now add iOS to that graph........


    Yea adding iOS and Android into that graph would relegate Windows to a minority player. Mobile platforms have long overtaken the Windows platform. iPhone alone has more than a billion devices with Android devices at more than 2 billion. I don’t believe Windows ever reached more than a billion users. 
  • Reply 88 of 159
    sog35 said:
    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.
    Uh the A11 is already close to the Intel chips in the Macbook


    I don’t know if we can compare the two chips, one is optimized for power constraints, ARM, while the other thrives on power hungry machines, X86. ARM would have to be totally restructured to work with always on power. Intel, although struggling lately, is no slouch at making power hungry chips. 
  • Reply 89 of 159
    I wonder if it is possible to have a dual processors system - say have an Atom-like Intel for system support and ARM for dedicated application use? 
  • Reply 90 of 159
    rcfarcfa Posts: 689member
    smalm said:
    Apple replacing Intel with ARM? Must be the first time ever we hear about that  :p
    Windows on ARM is already a reality, so no issues there, except for those apps vendors are too lazy to compile for ARM, but that hits surface models, too.
    cornchip
  • Reply 91 of 159
    rcfarcfa Posts: 689member
    IOS and macOS are basically the same OS with different UI libraries. ARM Macs are a no brainer.
    williamlondonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 92 of 159
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,368member
    hmurchison said:
    The Cloud has never really been the driver it's the fast broadband access to the cloud that is propelling new ways of development.   Where I live they've been rolling out Gigabit internet speeds which makes accessing containers fast and flexible. 
    You're lucky though, because the other 99.99% of North America isn't getting Gigabit internet any time soon. :(

    So, I was in an Apple Store this week.  Number of employees I saw at desktop computers?  Zero.  Number with iPads or iPhones ... at least 50 percent.  They were all working hard, too, and iPhone 8's were in stock at the store, although maybe not in the color or memory you wanted.  Anyway, back to my point. People working hard on iPads.
    I doubt they were setting up and rendering scenes for the next Star Wars movie though, or even doing what's involved with a typical IT job. I love iOS, but it's a long way off from being able to efficiently do what many macOS users do. That said, it's probably quite capable of doing what 90+% of computer users do. And, it's more UI than computing power holding it back.

    hmurchison said:
    As far as performance ARM has beefed up their architecture.  You can now have up to 8 CPU in a cluster and you can cluster 32 
    of these Octoclusters together.   Want more speed?  Add more CPU. ]
    Only for certain kinds of apps and users. Most people still care a lot about single-core speed, and multi-core is just to smooth out a bit of their multitasking. A lot of apps and types of work don't really scale across a bunch of CPUs... at least not yet.


    hmurchison said:
    I remember the days of Macs getting their PPC clocks cleaned by Intel computers half the cost. 
    Intel might have cost less, but I think the PPC chips were typically faster at the high end. And, Intel was pretty much at a dead-end in terms of power consumption, had they not gone towards the 'core' architecture. I actually wonder how involved Apple was in that, and if Apple maybe didn't save Intel.

    theothergeoff said:
    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).
    Bingo! It was about power, not speed. Just prior to Apple making the switch, the fastest G5 was outpacing anything Intel had, even custom-built workstations, for things like 3D rendering.

    wizard69 said:
    This is one of the reasons Apple is having troubles moving the Mini, it is priced way to high for the chip sets installed.
    ...
    Why they became so out of sync with the market is beyond me but a Mini is hardly the entry level Mac it once was.
    Yes, the mini is crazy-priced for what it is. It once wasn't that way. However, to get there again, they don't have to do anything too radical... just update it. If they brought out a 4-core Mini once again with TB3 ports & SSD.... I'd buy one immediately, even if it cost $1500.


  • Reply 93 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? 
    Maybe not. Microsoft already showed Windows running on ARM and they are clearly trying to free themselves from x86. Maybe Apple is not chasing the puck but is skating where puck will be? Microsoft develops Windows for ARM, Apple develops AXX needed to run not only macOS but also virtualize said version of Windows and everybody's happy.
    The only dependance from Intel stays Thunderbolt. It's Intels and this makes things complicated. If Intel licences it out properly and third party can produce Thunderbolt chips, there will be no more roadblocks for AXX macs anymore.
  • Reply 94 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,430member
    One interesting point related to this discussion just became known to me.      That is the fact that Apple just updated the sources for XNU with ARM64 code.   Why they would do that right now with all the ARM Mac speculation is interesting.    Could be nothing or they are priming the early adopters wild fantasys.  

    I just find the timing to be funny.  
  • Reply 95 of 159
    iOS is already being readied to support the Mac experience via ARM.  The key to a successful transition is supporting Apps.  Same as the PPC to Intel transition.  A simple way around that - short term- would be for the consumer Macs to go ARM and Pro Macs to stay Intel, with the roadmap evolving to all ARM.  

    Dumping Intel is pretty much a necessity now, if Apple seeks to innovate in the Mac space at the pace they’ve achieved with iPhone and iPad.
  • Reply 96 of 159
    I bet they’ve had ARM MacBooks going for the last several years. This new A11 seems to mark a milestone where in some (many?) tests it’s superseeding some of the Macs in some benchmarks.

    it would certainly be interesting to see how an Apple ARM laptop chip would be designed. Perhaps they could allow two or even four x the power of the iPhone version.
  • Reply 97 of 159
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,648member
    It's been a contention of mine that Apple and MS are joined at the hip on the PC via x86, and when MS transitions to ARM, Apple will be able to follow that with a Windows compatible ARM product line. 

    Which sounds wonderful, until you realize that Apple shouldn't be in the business of Windows life extension.

    That said, if Apple is going to do that, they might as well extend an olive branch to MS, Google, AMD, et, al, and work with ARM to build an open ISA Architecture to provide the proper underpinnings for the next couple of decades of desktop devices and services. Maybe hire Jim Keller away from Tesla to help in this.

    Of course, Intel would be invited, though they may not like to be at their own autopsy.
  • Reply 98 of 159
    wizard69 said:

    slurpy 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.
    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? 
    Apple TV, Watch (not anywhere near as expensive as it could be), Touch (along with most iPods ever sold), probably a few others.

    In any event if Apple wants to play in the desktop market at all they need good machines that don't cost a fortune!!!!!   The lates emac Minis sort of completely destroyed any faith people had in the desktop line up as they where far too expensive for what they contained.    Hard to justify really.   Honestly they could have introduced better machines with AMD hardware in them.   

    It comes back to being able to offer a machine that offers good performance yet allows Apple to generate decent income from.   They can't do that with expensive desktop hardware that doesn't offer anything over the mainstream offerings.   Going ARM allows Apple to offer unique features that create interest yet allows them to sell at a competitive price point.   I'd still expect a cost premium but that is only compared to PC's with dissimilar features.   
    Your examples don’t hold water. While they are coincidentally in the price range, they are entirely different product categories, and more, each is much more expensive than the alternatives in those categories. ATV is among the most expensive streamers, AW is an expensive wearable, etc.. 

    Apple doesn’t care about building market share with cheap, low margin devices. That isn’t how it’s built it’s historic fortune and it isn’t how it positions itself in the market. 
    tmaycanukstorm
  • Reply 100 of 159
    ...
    There is no current evidence suggesting that Apple is working on an ARM version of macOS...
    ...

    Why would they be "working on it"?  
    They already worked on it and completed it.   They called the result "iOS".
    tht
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