Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Nov 2012 23:40 UTC
Apple Another Apple-to-switch-Macs-to-ARM post. "Apple engineers have grown confident that the chip designs used for its mobile devices will one day be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops, said three people with knowledge of the work, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are confidential. Apple began using Intel chips for Macs in 2005." No idea when Apple will make the switch, but they will do it. I'm thinking 5-10 year timeframe.
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That sounds like making something that's slower go faster than something that goes faster.

Why no optimize for the faster option and make it even faster?

Actually that's how x86 has been operating for the last decade. Intel has had to employ a number of 'cheats' to keep up with Moores law and as a result the x86 CPUs have gotten very long in the tooth.

iOS devices can do impressive stuff speed wise, but when it comes to certain desktop applications it's hard to beat raw power.

Few people run applications that need that kind of raw power, and the few times it is required, a switch to multiple RISC cores over fewer CISC cores might pay dividend in the long run. Admittedly there's still a software hurdle to over come there (teaching developers to write god multi-threaded code isn't a small task). But for DAWs, video editors, and image manipulation software; having dedicated RISC cores for filters and fx makes a lot of sense for low latency work.

I genuinely think if we want to sustain the exponential growth in processing power we've enjoyed thus far, then we need to learn to better parallel process rather than rely on clever processor tricks to mimic such effects (eg out of order execution). And to do that, it makes more sense to have more dedicated RISC cores: it's easier to stack cores on one die and the lower draw on power means the CPUs run cooler (as cooling top end multi-core monsters is always a bit of a battle).

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