Apple unveils plans to ditch Intel chips in Macs for 'Apple Silicon'

Posted:
in macOS edited August 2020
In a "historic day," Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a shift to Apple Silicon, with technologies in place to run existing Intel apps with Rosetta 2.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces Apple is ditching Intel in Macs for Apple Silicon chips designed in house


Prior to turning over the focus to Johny Srouji, senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies, Cook discussed the three major transitions in the Mac's history, naming the shift to Power PC, macOS, and Intel. Saying that the journey to Mac on a custom chip has been over a decade, Apple is bringing the history of shipping 10 billion chips to the Mac, for the first time.

Apple says that its chip architecture that began with the iPhone provides the best performance per watt, with the new systems designed for a sweet spot of power and performance.

Power to Performance on Apple Silicon
Power to Performance on Apple Silicon


Apple also notes that there are an assortment of custom technologies that it will use for Apple Silicon, including neural networking, GPU, the Secure Enclave, and more.

Apple Silicon advantages over Intel or other processors
Apple Silicon advantages over Intel or other processors


Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, says that everything for macOS Big Sur is updated for the Apple Silicon platform. The company also says that Logic Pro X, and Final Cut Pro X will be available for day one. Federighi also says that the vast majority of developers can get their apps running in "a matter of days." Federighi says that they've been working with Adobe and Microsoft to get their flagship software offerings running early.

The new "Fat Binary" that Apple is using for software delivery is called "Universal 2." The developer's kits that Apple is running are on Apple's A12Z processor with 16GB of RAM, as found in the new iPad Pro.


"About this Mac" on the Apple Silicon developer's kit


Federighi demonstrated Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro X. He applied filters in real time to 4K footage in the video editor, saying that the Neural Engine is fully utilized, in addition to full use of all of the cores on the chip.

Rosetta 2, Intel code, and iOS software

Older Intel applications will be translated at the time of installation by Apple's Rosetta 2 tech. Apple says that the process is transparent to users.

Docker, and other similar technologies will be covered by virtualization technologies.

Practical use of Rosetta 2 was provided by Apple with Maya use and scene panning. Apple claims that games will easily be updated with Rosetta 2 as well, with a demonstration of Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay.

Beyond Mac games, the system will also run iPad and iPhone apps natively.

Apple Silicon quickstart kit available soon

The Apple Developer Transition Kit for Apple Silicon is a Mac mini, with 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and the A12Z chip. Developers will be able to apply for the program on Monday, with units shipping before the end of the week. The kit is $500, and must be returned to Apple and the conclusion of the program.

Apple's Xcode compiling apps for Apple Silicon
Apple's Xcode compiling apps for Apple Silicon


Cook says that the first Mac with Apple Silicon will ship by the end of 2020, with the entire transition taking "about two years."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 342
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,022member
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't heard them say ARM once.  I wonder if that means anything.
    razorpitGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 342
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Awesome! No more waiting on deadbeat chipmakers.
    80s_Apple_Guycat52brian greenGG1razorpitMisterKitmtrivisojony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 342
    Glad I waited to upgrade. Hoping for a 14” MacBook Pro with this chipset. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 342
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Holy sh*t

    ios and iPadOS apps running natively
    Docker
    Linux VM

    Adobe on board. 
    Microsoft on board 

    Bye bye Intel. 
    edited June 2020 radarthekatfastasleeptmayericthehalfbeeGG1apple_evomorkyrmusikantownarwhalMisterKit
  • Reply 5 of 342
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    So when do the machines arri … hang on. First machines by the end of the year. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 342
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member

    crowley said:
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't heard them say ARM once.  I wonder if that means anything.
    Good point. 

    But Apple doesn’t use ARM reference designs, just the instruction set, so they’re not really ARM chips from a hardware viewpoint. 
    tmaybrian greenhcrefugeerazorpitnarwhalMisterKitpatchythepirateGeorgeBMacjony0viclauyyc
  • Reply 7 of 342
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    OMG!  Just Wow!

    TG I didn't buy a new Mac Pro!
    edited June 2020 brian greenmtrivisowatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 342
    Scot1Scot1 Posts: 98member
    Some new Intel-based machines in the pipeline?

    Was hoping for new iMacs. 
    lkruppjony0
  • Reply 9 of 342
    bengbeng Posts: 34member
    So, will Rosetta 2 run 32 bit apps?
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 342
    beng said:
    So, will Rosetta 2 run 32 bit apps?
    No way in hell.
    netroxcat52brian greenlkrupphcrefugeeDAalsetheriamjhrazorpitchiaStrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 342
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,587member
    Great that they're supporting Docker and virtualisation, but absolutely no info as to whether you'll be able to run x86 Windows.
    razorpitGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 342
    crowley said:
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't heard them say ARM once.  I wonder if that means anything.
    I don’t believe they have ever said ARM with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV or Home Pod either. 
  • Reply 13 of 342
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,063member
    crowley said:
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't heard them say ARM once.  I wonder if that means anything.
    It’s not their brand. They’re Apple-designed chips. Why would they?
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 342
    This looks great, and that Tomb Raider Demi in Rosetta? Wow. Can’t wait for these things to take off. Hopefully they do a beefy update to the mini soon after launch. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 342
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,492moderator
    crowley said:
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't heard them say ARM once.  I wonder if that means anything.
    A12Z in that Mac.  That spells Apple’s ARM reference designs.
    JWSCericthehalfbeepaxmanjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 342
    crowley said:
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't heard them say ARM once.  I wonder if that means anything.
    Apple CPU = ARM. They never mentioned it in iPhone and iPad since Apple A4. But we all knew it.
    PezapatchythepirateGeorgeBMacjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 342
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,492moderator
    Best WWDC keynote in years. Straight to the point, no interacting with a life audience, pre-recorded is they doctor get it right without hiccups and keep it tightly scripted.  They should do it this way every year, with apologies to the live audience who would love to be present.  
    GG1MacProhypoluxaChris_PelhamSpamSandwichfastasleeproundaboutnowMplsPMisterKitmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 342
    Very interesting.  Apple just killed the Hackintoshes that runs on cheap Intel PC's. With custom silicon, Apple can now put GPU and all circuits on one single chip, it all make sense to have iPad pro as the primary "computer" now that Microsoft Office, Adobe are on-board, and a new version of XCode for iPad is probably coming as well.
    mtrivisojony0Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 342
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,063member
    I’m amazed they demoed Maya (and gaming) using Rosetta 2. I’m going to guess that 3D/animation apps are all going to be needing to be on Metal already in order to work in Rosetta (or at least work well?) but I’m beyond excited for this!

    Guess we’ll be waiting to see the new iMac, wonder when that’ll launch. 
    JWSCmtrivisowatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 342
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,368member
    Remember all those peanuts in the peanut gallery who were cursing Tim Cook because Apple was "abandoning the Mac?" 
    cat52MacProDAalsethroundaboutnowchiaStrangeDaysMisterKitpatchythepiratemtrivisoBeats
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