Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Sep 2017 16:40 UTC

With the iPhone X revealed, we really have to start talking about its processor and SoC - the A11 Bionic. It's a six-core chip with two high-power cores, four low-power cores, and this year, for the first time, includes an Apple-designed custom GPU. It also has what Apple calls a Neural Engine, designed to speed up tasks such as face recognition.

Apple already had a sizeable performance lead over competing chips from Qualcomm (what Android phones use) in single-core performance, and the A11 blasts past those in multicore performance, as well. Moreover, the A11 also performs better than quite a number of recent desktop Intel chips from the Core i5 and i7 range, which is a big deal.

For quite a few people it's really hard to grasp just how powerful these chips are - and to a certain extent, it feels like much of that power is wasted in an iPhone, which is mostly doing relatively mundane tasks anyway. Now that Apple is also buildings its own GPUs, it's not a stretch to imagine a number of mobile GPU makers feeling a bit... Uneasy.

At some point, these Apple Ax chips will find their way to something more sizable than phones and tablets.

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It's not going to matter much what CPU it's running soon enough.

You may not have noticed, but there are proof-of-concept in-browser versions of the heavy hitters like CAD and photoshop.

With either wasm or electron, it's trivial to use the full extent of a platform's power, and do you really think Adobe is going to keep letting their software get pirated like it does?

Google office and MSOffice Online are only the start, it's all going completely subscription-based - and what better way than by requiring everyone use an OTA-updated universally compatible app?

Hell, look at desktop and mobile already - huge percentages of modern software are webapps in wrappers.

Even if you don't see the writing on the wall for desktop apps, there are large numbers of "professionals" for whom an ipad pro is already sufficient. Stick a keyboard on it and resurrect the "iBook" branding or something, and you really think the Adobes of the world are going to stand around while competitors like Sketch eat their breakfast?

Edited 2017-09-14 05:00 UTC

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