Apple hires lead ARM CPU architect Mike Filippo

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 26
Apple recently recruited Mike Filippo, a CPU architect with a long history and credits at ARM, Intel, and AMD.

ARM mobile


Filippo joined in May and is working out of the Austin, Texas area, according to his LinkedIn profile, spotted on Reddit. His most recent work -- since 2009 -- was with ARM on consumer, automotive, and infrastructure CPUs.

Prior to that he was the chief architect on a 24-core, 96-thread system-on-chip for Intel, and did design work on AMD's Athlon and Opteron processors.

Filippo's Apple position is listed only as "architect," making no reference to what team he's on, as with some other LinkedIn profiles. Apple has been using its own ARM-based CPU designs since 2010's A4 chip however, and is expected to continue with future iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and HomePods.

As recently as May 2018 Filippo argued that ARM's in-house designs would "do well" against Apple modifications, claiming that the real competition was Intel. Both ARM and Intel CPUs can now run Windows.

Rumors have claimed that Apple may use ARM chips in future Macs, possibly as soon as 2020. That would allow it to reduce its dependence on Intel -- which is sometimes slow to deliver new chips -- and further tailor hardware to specific Mac demands. The company frequently brags about battery life for instance, and stretches to keep MacBook specs at expected levels.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,309member
    My 27” iMac 14,2 (late 2013) is getting long in the tooth but I will not wait until the latter half of 2020 to find out if Macs are moving to ARM. The 2019 iMac may be my last Intel Mac but I don’t really care.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Great hire! This guy has some big chops, AMD, INTEL, and ARM! Just watch what’s coming!
    AppleExposedsteepedrowatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 42
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,005member
    lkrupp said:
    My 27” iMac 14,2 (late 2013) is getting long in the tooth but I will not wait until the latter half of 2020 to find out if Macs are moving to ARM. The 2019 iMac may be my last Intel Mac but I don’t really care.
    Really? My 27" iMac (11,1 late 2009) is still chugging along just fine. Although it is stuck on High Sierra - the first time I've ever owned a Mac that doesn't have the latest OS.

    Great hire! This guy has some big chops, AMD, INTEL, and ARM! Just watch what’s coming!

    Possible in-house x64 based CPUs?
    AppleExposedentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 42
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,953member
    I imagine it will be years before anything he designs appears in actual products, but it sounds like a good hire. 

    The whole ARM-Mac thing is one of the more interesting/entertaining rumor/stories that we've seen over the last 5 years or so. The arguments for and against are both very strong, making it hard to predict what will happen but also a ton of fun to debate. 
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 42
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,970member
    lkrupp said:
    My 27” iMac 14,2 (late 2013) is getting long in the tooth but I will not wait until the latter half of 2020 to find out if Macs are moving to ARM. The 2019 iMac may be my last Intel Mac but I don’t really care.
    And nor should you.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 42
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 300member
    mjtomlin said:
    Possible in-house x64 based CPUs?
    Nope. Intel won't license the x86 architecture to Apple, and Apple won't split internal development effort between two instruction sets.
    edited June 26 tmaycanukstormmorkyn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 42
    karmadavekarmadave Posts: 323member
    Apple is NOT abandoning x86 architecture for Mac! More likely you will see iPad get faster with more Mac-like features. The the upcoming versions, of iPadOS and MacOS are very similar and are only likely to become more so over time. That's why Apple is continuing to invest in it's own ARM designs. 
    macplusplusentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 42
    mjtomlin said:
    lkrupp said:
    My 27” iMac 14,2 (late 2013) is getting long in the tooth but I will not wait until the latter half of 2020 to find out if Macs are moving to ARM. The 2019 iMac may be my last Intel Mac but I don’t really care.
    Really? My 27" iMac (11,1 late 2009) is still chugging along just fine. Although it is stuck on High Sierra - the first time I've ever owned a Mac that doesn't have the latest OS.

    Great hire! This guy has some big chops, AMD, INTEL, and ARM! Just watch what’s coming!

    Possible in-house x64 based CPUs?
    I’m still on Sierra. I used to update as soon as a new OS came out but I had to deal with too many issues. Now I don’t update unless I’m installing a new application that requires it.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 299member
    mjtomlin said:

    Great hire! This guy has some big chops, AMD, INTEL, and ARM! Just watch what’s coming!

    Possible in-house x64 based CPUs?
    Not sure what the point in that would be: it would cost billions (and years) to do a clean room version of x86.  It would be cheaper to simply keep paying Intel.  The only thing to be gained is some greater independence from Intel's delivery cadence.   No, I think this guy will help raise A series' performance  to desktop class.  Or, maybe, help add fast chip-level x86 emulation so that when Apple does move to A-based laptops, folks won't have to throw away their old Intel-based software right away.
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,398member
    Ka-BOOM!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 42
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,970member
    karmadave said:
    Apple is NOT abandoning x86 architecture for Mac! More likely you will see iPad get faster with more Mac-like features. The the upcoming versions, of iPadOS and MacOS are very similar and are only likely to become more so over time. That's why Apple is continuing to invest in it's own ARM designs. 
    This is what I also think will happen.  macOS / x86 will stick around for "legacy" workflows & iPadOS / ARM for "modern" workflows
    roundaboutnowradarthekatHyperealitywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 42
    morkymorky Posts: 179member
    I don't think Apple needs to leave Intel for high-end Macs to be able to switch to ARM on iMacs and Macbooks and Macbook Pros. They control the development environment down to the compiler, so I would expect at this point they will really be able to have a check box to compile for both that works without any code modification (unlike in PPC to Intel transition where it actually took a lot of work).
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 42
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    karmadave said:
    Apple is NOT abandoning x86 architecture for Mac! More likely you will see iPad get faster with more Mac-like features. The the upcoming versions, of iPadOS and MacOS are very similar and are only likely to become more so over time. That's why Apple is continuing to invest in it's own ARM designs. 
    This is what I also think will happen.  macOS / x86 will stick around for "legacy" workflows & iPadOS / ARM for "modern" workflows
    And also modern furniture. Panels kiosks everywhere... The initial Surface “Table” has only promoted Hawaii Five-0 and evolved to a stupid folding AIO Desktop. It is not unusual you see a crashed kiosk somewhere asking Windows admin password. Consider iPad evolved to a wallPad. Needs a powerful chip to drive such a big display, ML/AI and alike. The future is iPad, not Mac. 
    edited June 26 radarthekat
  • Reply 14 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,700member
    mjtomlin said:
    Really? My 27" iMac (11,1 late 2009) is still chugging along just fine. Although it is stuck on High Sierra - the first time I've ever owned a Mac that doesn't have the latest OS.
    I killed my late 2009 iMac a couple years ago when trying to service a faulty fan.  It was such a dependable machine and had it not been for that fan, I'd still be using it at the office.  I certainly got my money's worth with that machine.

    My 2015 iMac is still running strong but with all the latest upgrades Apple did with processors, memory, etc.. I have a suspicion Apple is going to do a major revamp of the regular iMac line this year, or next year and I'll probably pull the trigger for an upgrade.  They are solid machines.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 42
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,503unconfirmed, member
    lkrupp said:
    My 27” iMac 14,2 (late 2013) is getting long in the tooth but I will not wait until the latter half of 2020 to find out if Macs are moving to ARM. The 2019 iMac may be my last Intel Mac but I don’t really care.

    My 2009 iMac is still running well. It always runs heavy pro software. I guess it's time to upgrade though. Gotta do it some day.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 42
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,612member
    Reading your post on a 2009, 27" Core i7 iMac, still a nice system except for occasional graphics downtime. Still a capable system for running the likes of Mathematica. As an aside, I recently worked with a 2019 model 15" MacBook Pro and encountered the Touch Bar for the first time... I like it, very clever.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 42
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,612member
    Apple recently recruited Mike Filippo, a CPU architect with a long history and credits at ARM, Intel, and AMD...

    Both ARM and Intel CPUs can now run Windows.

    Rumors have claimed that Apple may use ARM chips in future Macs, possibly as soon as 2020...
    Wouldn't it be interesting if Apple and Microsoft both released higher-level systems running on ARM chips. Surely each of these companies could take advantage of ARM devices at some level of their respective business.
    edited June 26 tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 42
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,143member
    I expect the first ARMacs to be portables.  Unless Apple scales up the cores and goes crazy with parallel processing.   

    What I'd like to see is ARM running Intel apps through emulation (especially old 32-bit apps).

    What would be really cool would be ARM running old PPC apps, OS9, or even 680x0.  We can dream, can't we?
    iqatedowatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 42
    anomeanome Posts: 1,297member
    I'm still thinking that Apple are going to move their MacOS front-end to ARM, and keep x86 for back-end and heavy lifting. I think the new Mac Pro could fit into this quite well. You have a Mac Pro in a rack that presents processing as a service, while users access it using a MacOS (or iOS/iPadOS) front-end. With proper integration, this would be seamless to the user, the only difference is that heavy processing load won't kill the front-end machine, and let the user keep working.

    Under this idea, the back-end can be migrated to any architecture without affecting the user, and on any schedule. Especially if Apple host the back-end services, at least for individuals and low-demand users. High-demand users would have the option to buy their own Mac Pro/Server config.

    Still, what do I know? No more than any of the analysts saying ARM based Mac Pros are coming any time soon.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 42
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,321member
    karmadave said:
    Apple is NOT abandoning x86 architecture for Mac! More likely you will see iPad get faster with more Mac-like features. The the upcoming versions, of iPadOS and MacOS are very similar and are only likely to become more so over time. That's why Apple is continuing to invest in it's own ARM designs. 
    This is what I also think will happen.  macOS / x86 will stick around for "legacy" workflows & iPadOS / ARM for "modern" workflows
    And also modern furniture. Panels kiosks everywhere... The initial Surface “Table” has only promoted Hawaii Five-0 and evolved to a stupid folding AIO Desktop. It is not unusual you see a crashed kiosk somewhere asking Windows admin password. Consider iPad evolved to a wallPad. Needs a powerful chip to drive such a big display, ML/AI and alike. The future is iPad, not Mac. 
    The future for most people who want to get real work done is Mac, not iPad. The iPad has its uses though, largely for people who mostly consume content. 
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