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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Member since:

video editors, and image manipulation software; having dedicated RISC cores for filters and fx makes a lot of sense for low latency work.

I echo this guy's sentiment: ARM may not be as powerful as a general purpose CPU as x86/x64, but it can be tailored for certain kinds of tasks after which it can beat x86/x64 hands down. Video and image manipulation are actually things that are already handled quite well on ARM by specific cores designed for those tasks, like e.g. many video cores these days can handle both decoding and encoding of video in real time. It's just a matter of adding support for effects in the core and updating the software to make use of the core, and you'll likely get better performance and better battery-life than with x86/x64 solutions.

That is to say, x86/x64 is good for all-purpose tasks where general, overall, raw power is important, and ARM is much worse for that, but a whole lot better for more specific tasks.

About the topic itself: I could certainly see Apple going for ARM in the future, they have a lot to gain from such a shift in architecture. It would possibly start with only Macbook Air's going ARM in an effort to see how the public reacts, to let developers start the transition on their ends, and to prepare the public for a bigger push in a few years from that.

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Tuishimi Member since:

Didn't amiga try to offload various types of processing onto a variety of units in their desktop hardware? Or am I smoking something?

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moondevil Member since:

No, you are completely lucid, for the Amiga 500:

Motorola 68000 - Main processor
Fat Agnus - OCS / ECS display controller
Denise / Super Denise - OCS / ECS display encoder
Paula - audio and I/O controller
Gary - system address decoder

For the Amiga 600:

Similar to the 500, just with one difference.

Gayle - system address decoder and IDE controller

For the Amiga 1200:

Alice - AGA display controller
Lisa - AGA display encoder
Paula - audio and I/O controller
Gayle - system address decoder and IDE controller

This is also how game consoles work, with specialized sets of chips.

Edited 2012-11-07 08:20 UTC

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zima Member since:

Didn't amiga try to offload various types of processing onto a variety of units in their desktop hardware?

Yes. Including what can be probably seen as the first compositing window manager.

But it can be argued that this, and overall tight coupling of hardware & software, was also the undoing of Amiga - the 500 generation was great; but later improvements, while maintaining compatibility, proved hard & expensive. 1200 gen was not much better, half a decade later.

Essentially, Amiga had console-like hw and market dynamics (most people never upgraded past 500, hence games always targeted mostly 500), but without matching business model (Amiga being an open platform, Commodore unable to extract money from dev houses the way Nintendo could; something like that also essentially killed Atari and led to video game crash of 1983 which Commodore played a major part, seems they didn't quite realise what they did)

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