1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

News Rumour - Apple to ditch Intel for ARM

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 6 May 2011.

  1. Nikols

    Nikols New Member

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    443
    Likes Received:
    16
  2. azazel1024

    azazel1024 New Member

    Joined:
    3 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    487
    Likes Received:
    10
    I doubt it is true. Oh it might be, but I doubt Jobs is relishing an ever smaller part of the desktop and laptop market place. Even at 10x the power of current ARM processors, the next generation quad core ARM processors might just be able to claim to have as much power as a low end dual core AMD processor.

    The best of the best ARM processors have performance about on the level of an Atom. Considering how much slower an Atom is than even a dual core Celeron...well x10 performance improvement might just get it on par with an "old" i3 dual core chip. If 10x performance actually occurs. They are going to need a lot more than x10 performance for SOCs to get on par with current mid level mobile GPUs, let alone desktop discrete GPUs.

    So is it possible, maybe, but even the next generation ARM quad core processors still would be woefully underpowered compared to current day offerings that Apple has in their mac book and mac pro machines. This isn't even taking in to account what Ivy bridge seems like it might promise. Can ARM ever "catch up" with x86 architecture? Maybe, but it isn't going to happen in the next year or two. Its unlikely as well, that you are going to have a CPU designed to operate in the 1-10w TDP range that is going to compete with one designed for the 10-100w range. Possible, well there are stranger things that have happened in the history of the world, but very, very unlikely. It is a little like trying to design a 2 cylinder engine to compete with a V8.
     
  3. azazel1024

    azazel1024 New Member

    Joined:
    3 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    487
    Likes Received:
    10
    To add I forgot to mention that my level of plausibility with this action is raised just because Jobs often times doesn't really care what people necessarily want or need. He tells them what the want and they accept it, end of story. So it might well be plausible that the story is true.

    "Hey look, its our iOS running on your desktop, and the hardware is nifty enough that you can watch a 1080p movie and play iOS games and applications. That is all you need and ever could conceivably need. Nothing to see in the x86 and Windows world where they are emulating your applications on a single one of their CPUs cores. Move along now"
     
  4. Lenderz

    Lenderz Member

    Joined:
    4 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    380
    Likes Received:
    15
    Well I won't be too fast to rule it out but it does seem a little too good to be true. I seem to remember ARMs public roadmap including server chips to replace intel Xeon/AMD opteron chips and mention of this including x86 hardware emulation. They are talking mid-2013 too which seems rather plausible.

    It's possible MS/Apple know something we don't.

    It would be interesting that's for sure, delving deeply into speculation it would really make Nvidia happy, they've been losing marketshare hand over fist to AMD and Intel intergrated graphics CPUs this last quarter and it would give them a chance to compete because it doesnt seem likely they'll ever get a x86 licence and they've quite some experience working with ARM designs in their mobile parts.

    ARM that superstar of the British tech industry has come a long way since the days of Acorn and it's great to see. I must confess I'm a little excited at the prospect as I got £7K of ARM at 1.60 last year. :D so I do hope there is some truth to this.

    Edit: ars has an interesting article on the subject (I was unsure of the ettiqute of posting a link) on the topic.

    Frankly I can't see ARM replacing intel in the high end MacBook Pro line, but in the MacBook range for the "average" comsumer there is more potential. The average laptop user needs to plays music and 1080p video, and surfs the web. Little else. I can see ARM competing in this mid market position, the average user has no need of the latest i7, Apple already sells a lot of MacBooks and they're still using Core 2 Duo.

    ARM might not take the pure performance crown, but do they need to?
     
    Last edited: 6 May 2011
  5. DeadMan

    DeadMan Betterer

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2002
    Posts:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    You gotta love those rumours.
     
  6. cgthomas

    cgthomas Cpt. Handsome

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    295
    Likes Received:
    2
    Please help, I still can't solve this equation 2 + 2 = 5. Can I have a hint please?
     
  7. aron311

    aron311 New Member

    Joined:
    14 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    "50% more efficient OR 37% faster."


    It's pretty unlikely the current Intel processors are going anywhere tbh, maybe to AMD on some models but not a new instruction set.

    Flash player does work better on my android phone than my macbook pro though.. :p
     
  8. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2007
    Posts:
    12,300
    Likes Received:
    709
    Apple won't leave Intel. You guys have it all wrong (including the rumor). They will ADD the ARM processor to the system.

    Where am I going with this?

    Very simple!
    They will copy the same thing as Dell Latitude ON feature implemented on select Dell Latitude E series laptop

    Basically what Latitude ON is: it is a ARM based computer inside a full normal Windows based 14 and13 inch laptop, which boots instantly, and provide (with the 9-cell battery) "All day computing" as Dell states. It's powered by Linux.

    I believe Apple will copy this idea, and implement in the MacBook Pro, and power it with a iOS. I won't be surprised if the laptop also has a touch screen, like select Dell Latitude and Precision models.
     
  9. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

    Joined:
    14 Sep 2010
    Posts:
    1,940
    Likes Received:
    66
    Yawn! no one cares.
     
  10. meandmymouth

    meandmymouth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    3,709
    Likes Received:
    157
    This is a very interesting rumour. The person behind it has a good track record when it comes to these type of reports and supposedly the sources he has are good. I would hesitate to say it's complete nonsense, but also I can't see Apple scrapping Intel altogether.

    In my mind using ARM (as well as but not switching away from Intel entirely) makes a lot of sense. With ARM very confident about their upcoming Cortex A15 design and "Mali" graphics there is no reason why a laptop or Mac desktop couldn't be based on these, especially if a desktop-optimized version of iOS was developed. I wouldn't expect an entirely new OS to be developed however optimising iOS, or a version of it, wouldn't be too difficult for Apple.

    What I wouldn't be surprised to see would be a macbook with a touchscreen running a developed version of iOS on, say an ARM Cortex A15 CPU or a desktop all-in-one Mac running the same. The emphasis will be on everyday-use machines rather than workstations, which will for a long time stay x86 based, no question about it (I'll eat my hat if I'm wrong).

    Apple did help form ARM in 1990 so there would be a decent relationship there I'd imagine, not that it really matters.
     
  11. iwod

    iwod New Member

    Joined:
    22 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why do people keep posting about ARM performance not anywhere near Desktop Class CPU when you are comparing an ARM Smartphone CPU to Intel's Mobile PC / Desktop CPU?

    We are talking about a 64Bit ARM CPU, which give huge boost of performance compare to the Next Gen ARM Cortex A15, and Cortex A15 will great boost of performance compare to current Cortex A9.

    Then there is the LP ( Low Power ) Node, which all ARM CPU are using, the lower frequency designed because of power constraint. Afterall, the most powerful desktop processors are using 50X the power then ARM Mobile CPU.

    I wouldn't say it would catch up to a Quad Core Ivy Bridge in 3 years time. But it would definitely be way faster then Atom, or a Core 2 Duo. And it would be adequate for most users. After all we haven't been CPU performance constraint for quite a few years. ( Hence the birth of Nettop and Netbook ).

    Then there is the cost. Even with Steep discount i guess Intel will still be selling $100+ even for the cheapest CPU. And it would only cost apple less then $40 to make for the whole range! Then is 5% to 20% of extra profits available for Apple to crab. With their tight Software integration, they may just be able to pull it off.

    Of coz, may be this rumors is just started so Intel will bent more for Apple flavors.
     
  12. Pyshtone

    Pyshtone New Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2011
    Posts:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Charlie does have reliable sources, but sometimes misleads a bit. I'd say that Apple is looking for foundry capacity that could replace Samsung (what if... Samsung would cut A4/A5 deliveries?), and plans to occupy relatively high volume market with ~7" sized tablet or maybe some 12" dualtouch AMOLED screen convertible (just my guess/wish ;) ). Mac Air would be the next to forgot x86, with product line slowly shifting towards "fast enough" nextgen ARM from bottom line upwards. Intel dominates when it comes to performance, yet Apple need such performance only in its highend segment. Nextgen ARM designs will saturate lower segments just nicely, it is all about SW in the end. Apple developers must be quite satisfied and if they were reasonable enough, they were already prepping ARM variants of their x-86 apps. Ipad 1 role in such grand plan would be to attract masses, and shift developer focus from x-86 to ARM.... It really makes sense... to me :)
     
  13. veato

    veato I should be working

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    729
    Likes Received:
    55
    Macbooks and iMacs run the same OS. So if they move Macbooks to ARM doesn't that mean two versions of the same operating system?
     
  14. ArcAngeL

    ArcAngeL New Member

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2006
    Posts:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Considering thunderbolt is intel, and to go ARM chips, they would need to re-program their whole OS and all software developers would also need to, it will never happen, only reason why apple would even think about it is, that it would be to make better margins on their already overprised hardware. In doing so they will loose their software developers, and then their consumers.
    Consumers buy apple for 3 reasons, their ignorance of thinking they cannot get viruses and are completley safe, and their over priced industrial design, their IQ makes them think that they are easier to use and the consumers who buy them have had bad MS experiences.

    As a designer I have many bad OSX experiences in both their operating systems prior snow leopard and their previous architecture.

    I'm now a IT Manager, who's considering a large purchase of macs for their cross OS support, if they went down this path it would stop me from buying them.
     
  15. StoneyMahoney

    StoneyMahoney New Member

    Joined:
    10 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    287
    Likes Received:
    13
    I'm a cross-platform (Mac/PC) sysadmin and I can say if Apple ever did this they would be throwing away all their hard work to dominate the media industry. Also, don't listen to rumours like this - it was rumoured (and then repeated all across the Internet, supposedly confirming it) that the Mac Mini a few years ago would ship with an Atom processor. Everyone I talked to about this laughed their arses off at it but still the news sites peddled the rumour and more idiots got to bash Apple for their ridiculous "decision". Never thought Bit-Tech would be silly enough to repost this kind of garbage though.

    Getting journalists to spread horsesh*t rumours they're sceptical of? There's (probably) an app for that!
     
  16. azazel1024

    azazel1024 New Member

    Joined:
    3 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    487
    Likes Received:
    10
    I guess you haven't used a netbook for much lately. An atom most certain does constrain what you can handle on the platform for processor power. Very, very, very much. It is fine for the most basic stuff, but the difference between an atom netbook and my wife's 3 1/2 year old Turino X2 laptop is like night and day. Curent A9s perform about like an Atom does in some work loads (a little better in some, a lot worse in others). Even a significant performance bump only gets the fastest ARM quad core processors to perform in highly multithreaded applications about on par with a 5 year old Celeron dual core processor. That 5yr old celeron could probably still trample it in single threaded applications.

    That isn't to say that isn't incredibly impressive performance still for something that barely uses a drop of power to do it all, but in an environment where power is much less constrained, a full sized laptop or heavens to betsy, a desktop running on Mains...it just doesn't hold a candle to a full on modern x86 processor. Most people living in a city only need a scooter to get around. You still see a lot more people opting for an actual car. For 90% of all camera users 8 megapixels was enough and for 98+% 12 megapixels was enough. Yet you still see tons of people jumping all over 15, 20, 25+ megapixel cameras and you know people will continue buying the latest and greatest because it has more megapixels.

    Sure most users the next generation ARM chips probably can do what 70+% of users are likely to ask of it 90% of the time. If you told all those users "yeah this can do most of what you are going to ask of it. But look at this puppy, it is 10x faster and only $100 more!" what do you think they are going to choose? Most are going to shell out $100 more to get that huge amount of extra performance that most of them will never utilize.

    An entry level sandybridge chip right now isn't all that expensive. $100 call it. Another $100 for the board, $50 for the memory. In another few months you can probably get an entry level SB chip, inexpensive board and 4GB of memory for under $200 for all of it (maybe under $150 if you really hunt). That is going to be several times better performance than the next generation of ARM chips that haven't even come out yet for maybe only $100 odd more. An entry level AMD Llano chip, board and memory in a few months time might even be less than that.

    This is a heck of a long comment, but I guess I just don't see the logic in Apple abandoning x86. Heck there are plenty of rumors that Apple is actually abandoning ARM in their touch, iPhone and iPad line for the next generation of Intel Atom chips. I could maybe, possibly see Apple picking up ARM for some of their mac book line or some entry level all-in-one desktops that are designed to be super low power and run iOS instead of OSX. I just don't see them droping x86 and dropping/redoing OSX anytime soon. Maybe in a few generations if ARM has caught up.

    Again, back to the architecture though. Its unlikely you are ever going to be able to match a super low power architecture against a much high power architecture in terms of overall performance. Efficiency might be better, but a power envelope that maybe maxes out at 10W probably is going to hold much a of candle to something that has a power envelope stretching to 100w or more. Maybe with the exception of very specialized taskes. But hey, check out SB and their quicksynch. Intel is figuring it out. Especially with their ever smaller node sizes they can cram more specialized stuff on their dies, such as quicksynch to handle specialized common tasks much faster than the CPU itself can. Its something SOCs have been doing for awhile, but with full on x86 desktop and even CLUV chips have so much more space to add tons of such features AND still have a way more powerful CPU and even GPU on the same die.
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    33,626
    Likes Received:
    1,275
    Apple is famous for thinking 5-10 years ahead. What might an ARM chip offer then that an Intel chip might not? Intel makes good beefy CPUs but has been less than compelling in the low power stakes. Arm architecture on the other hand could be scaled up to be more powerful. The future will also hold an increased number of dedicated mobile devices rather than powerful desktop monsters.

    I see where Apple is going with this. Won't be ditching Intel for the next five years though.
     
  18. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    414
    At the low end there is a chance that apple will indeed move to Arm, why? they can just give the iPad3 a screen attached with a hinge instead of integrating it in the Case and call it a iBook (yes, the flipped screen and the removed hinge are the only "innovation" a tablet has over a notebook).

    But at the higher end there is simply no chance Apple would be stupid enough to move away from x86, because what moving to x86 did was open up the possibility that applications everyone is used to may eventually end up being avalaible for the Mac as well which makes switching to them actually possible... or does anyone believe that for example Valve would have bothered bringing Steam to Macs if they would still use different Hardware?
     
  19. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

    Joined:
    19 Apr 2005
    Posts:
    4,654
    Likes Received:
    151
    Hardware doesn't really make much of a difference unless you're writing applications in machine code - for high-level languages, the compiler manages the differences in CPU architecture. The real problem is the fact that Windows and MacOS are such different operating systems - just because they run on the same CPU architecture, doesn't mean that writing an application to run on each is just a case of recompiling under MacOS.
     
  20. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    48
    Hold on, doesn't Apple have a contract with AMD for their next load of laptops etc? Or did I imagine that news story a few months ago?
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page