Linked by David Adams on Sun 8th May 2011 04:47 UTC
Apple The Apple/ARM rumor du jour is that Apple will transition its entire portable Mac line to ARM-based CPUs, dropping Intel altogether. Sources speaking to Semi Accurate claim this is a "done deal," and the move should happen by 2013, when a 64-bit ARM A15 core becomes available. While a future generation of Apple's A5 processor could make some sense for something akin to the MacBook Air, the claim that Apple will ditch Intel wholesale for ARM just doesn't add up.
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Missing the point
by JPowers on Sun 8th May 2011 19:08 UTC
JPowers
Member since:
2007-11-10

Currently the A9 @ 500Mhz is about the same performance wise as an Atom @ 1.3Ghz.

If you look at the fact that the A9 uses 25% of the wattage of the Atom; you can easily double your batter life. Remember that the main power consumers are the CPU, Disk, Screen.

MS Has already ported Windows 8 to ARM. They've also asked the ARM people to develop a 48 core ARM system for the server room.

Apple is already working on reducing the number of supported CPUs for Mac OS X. 10.6 dropped PPC support and 10.7 is dropping 32bit support (not this just means the ability to run the OS on a 32bit Intel system not the support to run 32bit apps). Also 10.7 is dropping PPC emulation.

iOS is just Mac OS X in a limited state. Apple is currently working on merging the iOS & Mac OS lines.

Apple is heavily invested in improving the compilers for ARM. Apple is also on of the founding members of the ARM group.

I don't see any reason you couldn't run Windows 8 ARM on an ARM based Mac.

The biggest loser on the move to ARM will be Intel & MS. Intel may build chips ARM chips under contract; however, the chip design will be done by others. The x86 market will also start collapsing which means that they'll need to move into high-end servers and hope they can stay ahead of ARM development.

MS will have lots of issues. One, is getting people to port their applications to ARM; this will be somewhat mitigated by the fact that they are currently telling everyone to do .NET instead of Win32 development (.NET is a virtual processor so any .NET application will just use the JIT and run normally). Two, MS will finally need to break backwards compatibility; 16bit DOS & Windows programs will be lost. A third issue is the lack of support for multiple targets in a single binary; thus, vendors are going to have to ship 2 versions of all applications; one for x86 and one for ARM.

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