Occam’s Razor suggests that two premises…
(a) Apple has consistently gone for vertical integration of everything they depend on. They even had a fab built mostly for them at cost of billions.
(b) Apple depends on Intel for CPU’s in current products. They would in future products in segments like servers.
…then them eliminating Intel CPU’s as dependency is probably just (a) in action again. They’ve done this before for mobile after acquiring P.A. Semiconductor that made the PWRficient chip before making their own ARM chips. On an unrelated note, that was too bad cuz I was eyeballing that chip for a PowerPC laptop or tablet chip for FOSS. Apple’s always acqui-killing good tech.
I’m in favor, though, of anyone competing with Intel/AMD on single-threaded performance, having multicore, and at competitive pricing (there goes POWER8). Intel/AMD are pretty much the only remaining options on that. Or did I miss some ARM core or something that can knock out a Xeon head-to-head?
this can’t be the real reason. Would you rather compile for x86 and arm, or would you like to build an entire new architecture and the compile to that new architecture. The cost difference is wild. Obviously they either have something else in mind or they have more dollars than sense.
Considering how much money they make every time a “new” iPhone gets released, the “more dollars than sense” part would not surprise me.
I don’t understand the timing of this at all. So they’re set to release a new flagship desktop machine one year before introducing a new chip architecture? Doesn’t that mean the upcoming desktops will become instantly obsolete?
I’m still betting that this will happen gradually. It makes sense to start with the smaller laptops which are already being beaten by Apple’s current ARM chips.
I agree. Most ARM CPUs are not up to the challenge. The new MacBook has ARM chips, but they run the Touch Bar and a couple other functions. Not the main processor.
My money is on a scaled up ARM for a super-light notebook, followed by requirements that developers start shipping LLVM bitstreams instead of fat binaries. Once that settles down it’ll go into all portables and probably a compute-add-on (or MB-only replacement model) for the 2019 Mac Pro.