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.
Thread beginning with comment 541140
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I think they can run iOS apps on a Mac right now if they made an emulator, like they could run PPC software on Intel machines.

A number of ARM CPUs would make a powerful machine, but (and I'm not expert) I don't think that would help much if the computer was doing one single heavy task. Multiple CPUs/cores can handle multiple processes, but I don't think they can join up to speed up a single process.

But I wouldn't mind being wrong this time.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

I think they can run iOS apps on a Mac right now if they made an emulator, like they could run PPC software on Intel machines.


Wouldn't you need a touchscreen Mac for best effect? Haven't tried the Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad so maybe those would do in a pinch.

Reply Parent Score: 3

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

You would need a Mac with a touch screen for the best effect, but I don't think that would be very practical. It would be very hard on your arms. Even on a laptop it wouldn't be very comfortable.

I have a magic trackpad and I like it, but using it to control on-screen iOS apps would be guessing where to press your finger. Better would be to use the mouse pointer, but them multi touch wouldn't work.

Making a fat binary that includes version for the iPhone, iPad and a Mac would be a terrible waste of space.

Desktops and laptops are a different thing than mobile devices like phones and tablets. I like my iOS devices, but I would hate it if my Mac became a restricted device.

Reply Parent Score: 2

0brad0 Member since:
2007-05-05


A number of ARM CPUs would make a powerful machine, but (and I'm not expert) I don't think that would help much if the computer was doing one single heavy task. Multiple CPUs/cores can handle multiple processes, but I don't think they can join up to speed up a single process.

But I wouldn't mind being wrong this time.


Applications can use threads to take advantage of multi-CPU/multi-core sysems. This is not an issue specific to ARM and is very much an issue with x86 based systems as well.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yes, but if you have a very difficult calculation, would a single 500 Mhz CPU solve it slower than 10 500 Mhz ones? The 10 version can do the same calculation 10 times in the same amount of time as the single CPU, but can it do a single instance faster?

Reply Parent Score: 2

kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

I think they can run iOS apps on a Mac right now if they made an emulator, like they could run PPC software on Intel machines.

...but you already have a iOS device emulator for Mac OS X... for 5 years now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvOs6UpVJes

they (Apple) do not even call it "emulator" but rather "simulator" (since there is nothing to emulate! e.g. ARM ;) )

so this is not a issue (or purpose)! - switch Mac to ARM and than run iOS apps on Mac.
you can do it today.

--- but

take a look on today Mac OS X; you can burn CPU 100% if you do:
1) rendering
2) zip/unzip stuff
3) run Adobe Flash ;)
4) some heavy PhotoShop-ing
5) Aperture
6) complex javascript/html pages

... and all this stuff could run even faster on GPU! (e.g. new Aperture heavy relies on GPU!)

on other hand, for:
1) chatting
2) skyping
3) typing
4) exceling ;)
5) emailing
6) ~browsing

you do not need nothing faster than todays ARM!


all professional (content creation) application could benefit more from GPU than from CPU in future (as we have more and more advanced underlying infrastructure: compilers, languages, frameworks...)
...and one very important thing for future: it is easier to double GPU power than CPU power!

Reply Parent Score: 1

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

...but you already have a iOS device emulator for Mac OS X... for 5 years now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvOs6UpVJes

they (Apple) do not even call it "emulator" but rather "simulator" (since there is nothing to emulate! e.g. ARM ;) )


Not sure what you meant by "since there is nothing to emulate" followed by a winky face, but if your comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, or ironic somehow, note that there literally is nothing to emulate. Apps built in Xcode for the simulator are built as x86 targets, not for ARM.

Reply Parent Score: 2