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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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 6th Nov 2012 01:38 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I just don't see it happening.
When Apple did the PPC->x86 switch, it was because PPC performance had been severely behind x86 for years, with only a brief glimmer of hope to the contrary when Apple switched to IBM for the Mac Pro line. There are no ARM designs even close to Intel at the higher end.

Meanwhile, x86 is catching up to ARM in terms of performance/watt in small forms, and doing so at a much quicker pace.

I think I would go so far as to say that it is more likely Apple would switch to x86 in the iPad and iPhones than switching to ARM on the desktop.

EDIT: I don't think that last part is likely, either.

Edited 2012-11-06 01:45 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Elv13 on Tue 6th Nov 2012 04:48 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Would not make much sense. Apple invested tons of money into building one of the world top silicon design team. They have the opportunity, or at least, they think they have, to out compete rivals on raw power. All third party that's left on the A6 is the GPU. I don't think this is going to be the case for long.

They are aiming for a complete, bottom up Apple product that they can design in the direction they want. This is a very expensive dream, but is Apple dream since day 1. I am not so sure it is the most profitable road to world domination, but it is doable given you have the budget and will to do it. They definitively have both, at least for now.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by 0brad0 on Tue 6th Nov 2012 05:14 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
0brad0 Member since:
2007-05-05


Meanwhile, x86 is catching up to ARM in terms of performance/watt in small forms, and doing so at a much quicker pace.

I think I would go so far as to say that it is more likely Apple would switch to x86 in the iPad and iPhones than switching to ARM on the desktop.


Except ARM releases new CPUs and pushes further ahead and they're ahead of Intel for performance/watt by a massive margin.

Apple switched away from x86 with the Apple TV to ARM and there is literally ZERO incentive to switch from ARM to x86 for the iPad or iPhone. You're bat shit crazy.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 6th Nov 2012 07:30 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Except ARM releases new CPUs and pushes further ahead and they're ahead of Intel for performance/watt by a massive margin.


Intel is also releasing new processors, and are targeting the low-power areas aggressively.

And, yes, ARM currently beats Atom at performance/watt, but note that there aren't any existing ARM chips where such a comparison would make sense, if you want to compare to i5/i7. There aren't any ARM chips that would be a suitable replacement for the i7 in my laptop. None.

Intel is way closer to having a chip compete with ARM designs in phones than any ARM maker has to competing with Intel on the high end.

Apple switched away from x86 with the Apple TV to ARM and there is literally ZERO incentive to switch from ARM to x86 for the iPad or iPhone.


Apple's switch from x86 to ARM probably had more to do with software than hardware, keeping development of iOS simpler.

Also, I didn't say they would switch to x86 for phones and tablets, only that it was more likely, which I also said wasn't going to happen.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Lennie on Tue 6th Nov 2012 11:37 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Well the ARM-servers are coming:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njmQBqUuYqU

Even from AMD/SeaMicro:

http://www.eweek.com/servers/amd-arm-set-stage-for-competition-with...

So maybe even desktop/laptop ?

Reply Parent Score: 3