Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Jan 2010 20:21 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems And yet another item on the iPad? Are we serious? Yes, we are, since this one is about something that even geeks who aren't interested in the iPad itself should find intriguing. Steve Jobs said yesterday that the iPad is powered by an Apple A4 processor, but contrary to what many seem to think - it wasn't designed in-house at all.
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RE[4]: Comment by re_re
by steve_s on Fri 29th Jan 2010 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by re_re"
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By "universal" binaries, they actually only mean PPC and X86 binaries, not ARM. They aren't really "universal" at all.

They also mean only binaries from Apple, as I'm pretty sure that only Apple bothered with it. Possibly even less "universal" than at first glance.


Apple has shipped Mac OS X computers using various PPC and Intel chips. They have not yet shipped one running on ARM. Why would their universal binaries contain ARM executables?

It's not just Apple that ships universal binaries. Virtually every Mac OS X application shipped in the past few years has been a universal binary - even before the Intel transition a binary would typically contain multiple executables each optimised for different types of PPC processor. As a developer XCode essentially handles all this for you, making it harder to not build universal binaries.

Should Apple decide to ship ARM-based Macs creating native apps would mostly just be a case of rebuilding them (so you'd end up with an ARM executable in addition to the existing ones). The toolchain already supports this. Of course should this happen Apple would most likely also include a Rosetta layer to let those ARM-based Macs run existing Intel/PPC Mac binaries as they did with the PPC to Intel transition.

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