Intel officials believe that ARM Macs could come as soon as 2020

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  • Reply 81 of 84
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,360member

    mcoate said:
    @qwwera ;

    I would imagine everyone wants better performance, I just don't see the ARM chips stacking up to something like an 18-core Xeon, or even a multi-cpu configuration.  The Pro users typically work in a production environment so stability is everything, I'm not sure that the "typical" applications they are running have the same offerings for the ARM architecture(at least not yet).
    Multiplying cores on one die is relatively easy (just copy and past it in your favorite HDL language), also current ARM designs are 8 core or more, so thats no biggie. Multi discrete chips (CPUs) is a motherboard/busses ‘problem’ at which Apple is very proficient.
    Not sure what you mean with stability, there is no reason to suspect ARM chips are different, stability depends on the chip production process (and VHDL design) and it seems that TSMC is way ahead (compared to Intel) with a 5nm feature size.
    Applications when build for the Mac, can be rebuild with one click, just choose the ARM-Mac target architecture.
    edited February 23
  • Reply 82 of 84
    Apple has had all the common frameworks running in Ax chips since the beginning of Ax chips. Most executable app code is spent in these frameworks anyway: it may be apocryphal (but I don’t think so), but MS Excel in the PowerPC day is said to have spent 70% of its time in the Toolbox call DrawString(); since Apple had redone QuickDraw in PowerPC Native code, 70% of Excel ran natively with no work from Microsoft.
    Office for Mac lost its VBscript support back in the transition to versions Intel-supporting Macs, and only got it back in Office 2011 (WWDC: Microsoft updates Universal status of Mac apps.)

    And that was pretty fundamental to a lot of existing Excel spreadsheets' Macros.

    Whilst that might not happen in the same way - Microsoft has versions of their suite for iOS - most big applications are never just a recompile away from working.
  • Reply 83 of 84
    wood1208 said:
    Apple has done it before but not a trivial task. Hardware is just one part but how about porting MacOS and applications ? And going forward to keep Apps to support on both platforms.

    That's where you are incorrect.  The basis of Mac OS X was NeXT's OpenStep which was already very cross platform.  So much so they could distribute an App bundle that contained multiple binaries and shared the Resources within the bundle.  There was even something called YellowBox which allowed those apps to run on WinNT.  iOS is based on Mac OS X with the GUI being swapped out as there is no mouse support on iOS.  It is entirely possible that internally, Apple had Mac OS X running on Intel CPUs since day one.

    Changing from PowerPC to Intel primarily had a checkbox to cross compile universal apps.  Yes, if you have a complex application and used Carbon (C++) instead of Cocoa (native Obj-C) then you had a much more difficult transition as a developer.  But most applications are all Cocoa now.  It will be the easiest transition this time around.  "Project Marzipan" doesn't have much to do with it.  "Project Marzipan" is more about porting iOS apps to macOS.  Perhaps Apple is working on a unified GUI API library where you have one for macOS and another for iOS.

    Anyway you slice it, very exciting times are ahead.
  • Reply 84 of 84

    mcoate said:
    @qwwera ;

    I would imagine everyone wants better performance, I just don't see the ARM chips stacking up to something like an 18-core Xeon, or even a multi-cpu configuration.  The Pro users typically work in a production environment so stability is everything, I'm not sure that the "typical" applications they are running have the same offerings for the ARM architecture(at least not yet).

    Making the assumption that Apple's current mobile A12X CPU is what will become their ARM solution for Macs is a mistake.  It is entirely possible they could be optimizing the architecture to be more energy efficient than Intel but keep up and perhaps surpass on performance. The transition from PowerPC to Intel was all about performance per watt. Apple doesn't have to follow the same rules as other ARM members in their designs.  They can do whatever they can pull off because Apple will be the only one compiling for the architecture they create.  They are not constrained by earlier designs and do not need to worry about downward compatibility, etc. Not even sure how closely A12X follows conventional ARM standards, they have come a long way since the earliest ARM designs.
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