Apple to Announce its own Mac Processor

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Well I mean HDLs are not crazy rare. Any time a company wants to design any logic they are going to use an HDL (verilog or vhdl, +systemverilog or systemc for verification combined with python scripts etc etc). Intel uses them to design their processors, AMD uses them, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Apple, ARM, TI, Marvell, Broadcom, Asmedia, NXP, etc etc etc. It's obviously not as common as general software development languages, but I'm just saying every large company that does any sort of logic design is using them and have entire engineering teams that use them.

I'll take it one step even further. People are often familiar with high end high performance FPGAs, but they forget that there are very small FPGA that do very basic functionality. When you pick up your phone and simply USE it there is a good chance your phone has something like this:
http://www.latticesemi.com/iCE40
This is a very small basic FPGA and might do basic power sequencing logic, i2c logic, spi logic, interrupt control, basic logical signal routing.



I don't know of any GPU that has any onboard programmable logic like an FPGA has. GPUs are usually pretty specialized for their function, using programmable logic would take a lot more silicon space/power that they dont have to spare.

In general I always hesitate to accept the idea of "rise of the FPGA in common computing".

All of the below in the context of FPGA vs purpose design ASIC.
The advantage of the FPGA as general accelerator would be that you have a single block of silicon that you can reconfigure to any application. For a particular application it may be faster than a CPU. However, for any particular application the same logic burned into an ASIC will always be faster/smaller/+efficient (smaller is pretty much guaranteed, faster/efficient would be where you would be making a balance).

So then the question becomes:
How many different applications do you need for your accelerator to handle before an FPGA would make more sense than an ASIC?

1 application? ASIC wins
2 applications? You could probably fit two separate ASIC accelerators into the same silicon area as a single FPGA for the same tasks and ASIC design would still be smaller and faster/+efficient
3 applications?
4 applications?
5?

I dont know, at what point does the FPGA win for general computing acceleration? FPGA logic is not exactly dense, and it's not fast.

There are other contexts where the FPGA wins NOT because its better performing, but because the economics/time makes more sense.
Do you need 1-100 designs with your logic and it runs ok on an FPGA? Then you probably are not going to need to design an ASIC. it will cost enormous amounts $$ to spinup just a few ASIC chips. Go with FPGA
Are you an engineer that is testing /debugging logic that will ultimately target ASIC? Have fun waiting a few months every time you want to want to test a single change. Get an FPGA for testing/debugging.

Nvidia has entire FPGA racks that do nothing but run their logic for their GPU (basically run all the logic of a single 700mm^2 GPU chip in several racks of FPGA at highly reduced speeds.... again... FPGAs are not dense compared to ASIC...)
https://www.cadence.com/en_US/home/...otium-s1-fpga-based-prototyping-platform.html
https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2011/05/16/sneak-peak-inside-nvidia-emulation-lab/
The other advantage a FPGA has is longevity as things develop in the future. Our products ship in qty 10k+, but we expect to be continually updating the core DSP functionality 4,5,6 years down the road. An ASIC would lock us into a very specific way of doing things opposed to a FPGA, and a FPGA is already more than fast enough to handle it. Therefore, we choose FPGA even though are quantities are high because of the flexibility. As best practices and new methods emerge, we can push them out to our customers in basically real time.

This makes sense to me why Apple would have chosen a FPGA for something as flexible as a video transcoding accelerator vs. an ASIC.
 

bman212121

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It's official now. Apple's own silicion will start to replace macs. They will have development test kits that are Mac Minis running Ipad pro processors. (A12Z)
 

Snowdog

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It's official now. Apple's own silicion will start to replace macs. They will have development test kits that are Mac Minis running Ipad pro processors. (A12Z)
Very much like the PPC->Intel transition.

They will have first ARM Macs by year end, and will have transition complete within 2 years.
Universal binaries.
Rosetta emulation/translation.
 

bman212121

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Probably depends on what the battery life ends up being on the laptops, besting Intel by a few hours might get people to switch.
Not likely. Microsoft is married to x86 for better or for worse. If you're running Windows you expect to be able to run legacy apps without having to do anything. ARM has always failed because you can't pop the disc into a computer, install the software you wanted, and have it work. Apple is really on the opposite of this spectrum, they have made the transition before and their userbase is far more accepting that all of their legacy software will go away. It also greatly helps Apple that they have a huge library of software that will take minimal work to get running on this new operating system. If all of the codebase can remain largely unchanged, you just need to spend a little bit of time adding mouse support to an iPad app and it will probably work on a laptop or desktop well enough.
 

Aurelius

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I'm curious to see how the real-world performance is. I have a feeling Apple is going to kick Qualcomm's ass performance-wise, though. iPhones and iPads are already faster than all Android devices, and the Qualcomm 8cx plus Windows 10 combo didn't even stack up well when it was new, let alone against whatever Apple releases later this year.
 

Red Falcon

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Very much like the PPC->Intel transition.

They will have first ARM Macs by year end, and will have transition complete within 2 years.
Universal binaries.
Rosetta emulation/translation.
Because of the METAL API, universal binaries, nor emulation (save for a few specific case scenarios), will even be necessary now.
Things have changed a lot since Q1 2006, and I think the biggest thing out of all of this, is that a megacorp like Apple making the move to the ARM ISA (not just mobile) will lead the way to other software/OS companies and developers making the transition away from x86-64 - if the hardware is there, and is promising, the software support will follow.

As I have said before, AMD is the only corporation keeping x86-64 alive and competitive, and with their contracts with Sony and Microsoft for the next-gen consoles, that is a big win for them, and the continued existence of x86-64.
AMD also has their own in-house ARM processors (unknown if development has continued), so if they needed to potentially transition away from x86-64, they are potentially multiple steps ahead of Intel on this aspect.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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Very much like the PPC->Intel transition.

They will have first ARM Macs by year end, and will have transition complete within 2 years.
Universal binaries.
Rosetta emulation/translation.
For most devs it won't even take that long. Everything is universal in macOS, and they mentioned this in the keynote. Most devs who have been coding for macOS over the past 2 years will basically only need to do a recompile to get their software up and running natively on ARM.
That was the point of specifically showing Excel, Photoshop, and FCPX running on their dev kit. All of those pieces of software are already up and running native on ARM. Only Shadow of the Tomb Raider was running through an emulation layer to show what even a graphically intensive game getting emulated would look like. But it could also easily be ported over.

This transition has been planned for at least 5 years if not the better part of a decade. It will take less than a year to really transition over provided the devs are even remotely awake. It might take 2 years to transition every Mac to ARM though, however the software will be in place long before then.

EDIT: As a crazy side note, they ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider through an emulation layer on essentially an iPad Pro (A12Z). Showing definitely how absurdly powerful Apple's A series of processors are and have been. A big critisism of PCMR about Apple and A series APUs is that there is no way that "ARM is fast enough" to warrant switching to versus x86. This more or less definitely proves that it's not the case. And this demo is just the Dev kit through an emulation layer! Actual ARM dedicated desktop APU's running native software are going to be immensely faster than what was shown. No PC laptop can be had for $600 that can run Shadow of the Tomb Raider that good, but essentially an iPad Pro has the power to run 1080p maxed out 60fps through emulation. I expect at the end of the year when Apple starts to release dedicated macOS ARM hardware that we'll see results even faster than this.


It will be a big nail if it drives Microsoft to get much more serious pushing Windows on ARM.
The ONLY way Microsoft will ever transition everything to ARM is only IF they are willing to finally drop all the legacy garbage that has hampered Windows for so long. But because they have been unwilling to do so, they will never be able to do it.
The support for niche and basically everything has forced Windows to become a bloated garbage mess.

They'd have to enforce limited graphics and compute APIs. They'd have to get rid of enormous amounts of legacy code (I mean it's still carrying support for DOS right?). Because Windows can't also take on virtualization of x86 in addition to all the garbage it's carrying along. That's why Windows attempts at ARM were half-assed to begin with because they are unwilling to do what is necessary to move people from platform to platform. Additionally they do half-measures when planning.
Windows Phone as an example could have been successful if they had gone all in on the platform and looked to be a phone dev for 10 years, but they weren't willing to grind it out. I'm more or less seeing the same short-sighted issues with ARM. Microsoft more or less just made a platform and stuck it out there to see if anyone would actually use it. They supported it nearly not at all and then when it inevitably failed they simply abandoned it. But it's their fault in the first place for the failures because of the lack of long-term investment and thinking through how they're going to use these platforms in the future.

In short, they lack vision, leadership, and the balls to stick with said vision that they don't even have.
Apple excels in those areas. This move to ARM wasn't something they are just "deciding to do". They wanted greater control over product cycles, they wanted faster more efficient CPUs than what Intel was giving them (especially in mobile), and hell sure we can say they even wanted a bigger part of the hardware pie. As a result Apple focused for likely the better part of a decade to get the transition in place moving everything to universal binaries, forcing Metal API across their platforms, and coding languages like SWIFT. As a result of their very concerted effort moving to ARM will be relatively easy and painless. Microsoft can't seem to plan more than a year in advance and they don't have the length of view or the vision to execute a long term multi-year plan. And if they do they've been hiding the people capable for a long time.
 
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Snowdog

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For most devs it won't even take that long. Everything is universal in macOS, and they mentioned this in the keynote. Most devs who have been coding for macOS over the past 2 years will basically only need to do a recompile to get their software up and running on ARM.
That was the point of specifically showing Excel, Photoshop, and FCPX running on their dev kit. All of those pieces of software are already up and running native on ARM. Only Shadow of the Tomb Raider was running through an emulation layer to show what even a graphically intensive game getting emulated would look like. But it could also easily be ported over.
Timelines and support tools are almost identical to the PPC->Intel transition, and that is good thing as that was a decent transition.

2 Years refers to getting HW transitioned (which is what they also said for PPC->Intel, but they got it done much faster).

Rosetta was running Autodesk Maya, right before Shadow of the Tomb Raider. There will be lots of software using this for a while, as not all old software people own will be getting free updates.

Getting up and running in a couple of days, doesn't mean ready to ship in a couple of days unless you are talking something very simplistic. But we are months from consumer HW, so I agree, it shouldn't be a problem for devs that get at it.
 

ChadD

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OK seeing as everyone thought I was nuts 4 years back when I said Apple would dump Intel for ARM shortly... (ok I was a little early).

Consumer x86 has 5 years left.

LOL I know I sound nuts. But ya its going to happen. Apple is no doubt going to come out swinging on this... expect aggressive ARM Macbook pricing with performance that will make = priced windows laptops look 5 years out of date. When those actually sell well... I fully expect Microsoft will panic and take another stab at Windows ARM. Perhaps they go with silly Qcom chips like last time... or perhaps they get Samsung involved. And another not so long shot... perhaps they talk AMD into reviving their K12 designs and updating them into a modern Zen chiplet package.

... and when Intel gets wiff of it. I fully expect Intel will expand there current ARM licence for IOT and low power to a low power mid range performance design so they can put Intel ARM chips in widows ARM laptops from companies like HP and Dell.

At some point Intel is going to go full in on their new marketing slogans... where performance isn't everything and benchmarks are bad. They will make their chips lifestyle parts... and talk about their Intel designed XE graphic ARM SOC, and whatever new marketing buzz they can slap into the SOC design.

5 years.. thats my call. 2 years for Apple to prove ARM macbooks will sell very well, and Apple ARM macs at least won't loose any market ground. Then the MS/Intel folks will scramble to get their MEtoo stuff out... and 5 years from now x86 in consumer devices will be relegated to home brew folks like us.

The only way x86 doesn't die now is if Apple launches Arm Macbooks and no one buys them... or Apple accidentally includes a multiplication error, or massive security flaw in their new chips or something. lol
 

1_rick

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AMD also has their own in-house ARM processors (unknown if development has continued), so if they needed to potentially transition away from x86-64, they are potentially multiple steps ahead of Intel on this aspect.
I think people forget, but Intel HAD pretty decent for the time ARM processors in the early 2000s, when Pocket PCs running Windows Mobile were still a thing. They sold the IP off to Marvell around 2007 or maybe a bit later.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Timelines and support tools are almost identical to the PPC->Intel transition, and that is good thing as that was a decent transition.

2 Years refers to getting HW transitioned (which is what they also said for PPC->Intel, but they got it done much faster).

Rosetta was running Autodesk Maya, right before Shadow of the Tomb Raider. There will be lots of software using this for a while, as not all old software people own will be getting free updates.

Getting up and running in a couple of days, doesn't mean ready to ship in a couple of days unless you are talking something very simplistic. But we are months from consumer HW, so I agree, it shouldn't be a problem for devs that get at it.
You're not hearing me. There isn't the obstacles in the way like there were for PPC to X86. All devs need to do this cycle is essentially recompile.
That was the point of Apple depreciating things like OpenGL, and 32-bit. Basically there are no other major hurdles.
When Adobe already has software running natively on a new architecture you know its easy. Because Adobe drags their ass on supporting anything. If you're a hardcore Photoshop or Premiere user (as an example) over the last 5 years you'd see why the example of them running Photoshop natively on ARM already as being incredibly relevant.


OK seeing as everyone thought I was nuts 4 years back when I said Apple would dump Intel for ARM shortly... (ok I was a little early).

Consumer x86 has 5 years left.

LOL I know I sound nuts. But ya its going to happen. Apple is no doubt going to come out swinging on this... expect aggressive ARM Macbook pricing with performance that will make = priced windows laptops look 5 years out of date. When those actually sell well... I fully expect Microsoft will panic and take another stab at Windows ARM. Perhaps they go with silly Qcom chips like last time... or perhaps they get Samsung involved. And another not so long shot... perhaps they talk AMD into reviving their K12 designs and updating them into a modern Zen chiplet package.

... and when Intel gets wiff of it. I fully expect Intel will expand there current ARM licence for IOT and low power to a low power mid range performance design so they can put Intel ARM chips in widows ARM laptops from companies like HP and Dell.

At some point Intel is going to go full in on their new marketing slogans... where performance isn't everything and benchmarks are bad. They will make their chips lifestyle parts... and talk about their Intel designed XE graphic ARM SOC, and whatever new marketing buzz they can slap into the SOC design.

5 years.. thats my call. 2 years for Apple to prove ARM macbooks will sell very well, and Apple ARM macs at least won't loose any market ground. Then the MS/Intel folks will scramble to get their MEtoo stuff out... and 5 years from now x86 in consumer devices will be relegated to home brew folks like us.

The only way x86 doesn't die now is if Apple launches Arm Macbooks and no one buys them... or Apple accidentally includes a multiplication error, or massive security flaw in their new chips or something. lol
Apple themselves during their keynote have stated that in the future (perhaps only "near" future) they will be releasing both x86 and ARM hardware to the desktop. Until it's possible to create a hardware stack that is good both on the mobile low power end all the way up to Mac Pro levels of performance on ARM, we'll continue to see x86 at Apple.
So, you have an interesting prediction. Do you think it will take 5 years for Apple to exceed what Intel is doing? Right now Intel's top workstation processor being used by Apple is a 28 core Xeon. Can Apple eclipse that processor and anything else Intel comes out with over the next 5 years or at minimum a close enough product to justify the switch?

I personally think for Apple it will take far less time. I would bet that they can move over to ARM even on the Mac Pro within 2 years of their first actual hardware launch. So that would be Winter 2022.

The thing is there is still plenty of other markets still heavily invested in x86 and they don't have access to Apple's far superior A series of ARM chips. I'm certain that Windows as an example will be stuck on x86 for a while.
 

1_rick

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The ONLY way Microsoft will ever transition everything to ARM is only IF they are willing to finally drop all the legacy garbage that has hampered Windows for so long. But because they have been unwilling to do so, they will never be able to do it.
This seems pretty unlikely. Don't forget NT ran on at least 3 other architectures, and so did Windows Mobile. Getting everyone to convert their apps is probably going to be much harder than it was for Apple, who has no interest in backwards compatibility.

I wonder if it would be feasible to stick an ARM CPU and an x86 one in a machine instead of emulating.
 

UnknownSouljer

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This seems pretty unlikely. Don't forget NT ran on at least 3 other architectures, and so did Windows Mobile. Getting everyone to convert their apps is probably going to be much harder than it was for Apple, who has no interest in backwards compatibility.
I agree, basically unlikely until Microsoft literally has no other choice. As in: adapt or die. And Microsoft has a big bank, it might take a loooong while. (I'm thinking like Blackberry or IBM kind of hardware declines).

As far as Apple and backwards compatibility, that isn't quite true. They care, but they only care so far as moving to forward facing. It's all about what is the most efficient and most powerful. So technically Rosetta 2 is a form of backwards compatibility just like Rosetta 1 was. But its intention is just for transition to get people on board to better best practices. Lack of backwards compatibility is not done simply to be annoying to devs. It's done to make the platform as strong as possible. Which I know annoys a lot of people that just want compatibility. It's a very different way of thinking. But the beauty is no legacy code being run. And everything is as fast and efficient as it can be. Apple will literally be able to run all pieces of macOS software on iOS and vice versa. That level of integration is not even a hope for Microsoft or Google.

I wonder if it would be feasible to stick an ARM CPU and an x86 one in a machine instead of emulating.
Possible. But then that would require a massive amount of hardware investment and bridge chips to control what is processing what (routing all that data and then dealing with sycronization and latency, because it wouldn't be either or, the x86 processor and ARM processor would have to be working at the same time seamlessly to the user of the OS). So then it wouldn't just be a software investment, hardware manufacturers would also have to be on board. And whether that was done through literally add on cards or all on a motherboard, the investment cost would be high for only nebulous benefit while essentially costing the user twice as much as they'd be paying for two processors. For consumers that's basically a non-starter.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Aggressively priced and Apple don't seem to go together. They will save a few bucks on the CPU, but that isn't going to alter the pricing landscape.
You haven't payed attention to their offerings then.
MBA was novel and was more than competitively priced. It took PC competitors and Intel literally creating a hardware stack and 3-5 years to get anything close.
iMac has long been incredible bang for the buck especially when considering the displays they use generally have costed $1000-$2000 as a separate display. And there are 1:1 examples of this, such as the Dell 5k panel running the same panel basically costing as much as a base level iMac alone.
The Mac Pro is basically the best workstation in terms of cost and performance when considering any other pre-built manufacturer like HP or Dell. The Afterburner card is unparelled in speed for video editors and the dual Vega II is the fastest GPU literally in any workstation money can buy. Even not considering those custom pieces of hardware, dollar per dollar Apple is very competitive in the OEM workstation space.
 

Snowdog

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You're not hearing me. There isn't the obstacles in the way like there were for PPC to X86. All devs need to do this cycle is essentially recompile.
That was the point of Apple depreciating things like OpenGL, and 32-bit. Basically there are no other major hurdles.
When Adobe already has software running natively on a new architecture you know its easy. Because Adobe drags their ass on supporting anything. If you're a hardcore Photoshop or Premiere user (as an example) over the last 5 years you'd see why the example of them running Photoshop natively on ARM already as being incredibly relevant.
It was much the same for people that were already Cocoa and Xcode for the Intel transition. A claimed couple of days to get running. But no one in their right mind would then ship without verification.

And you still need Rosetta, just as you did back then, because not everything is going to be ported for free (or at all).



Apple themselves during their keynote have stated that in the future (perhaps only "near" future) they will be releasing both x86 and ARM hardware to the desktop. Until it's possible to create a hardware stack that is good both on the mobile low power end all the way up to Mac Pro levels of performance on ARM, we'll continue to see x86 at Apple.
So, you have an interesting prediction. Do you think it will take 5 years for Apple to exceed what Intel is doing? Right now Intel's top workstation processor being used by Apple is a 28 core Xeon. Can Apple eclipse that processor and anything else Intel comes out with over the next 5 years or at minimum a close enough product to justify the switch?

I personally think for Apple it will take far less time. I would bet that they can move over to ARM even on the Mac Pro within 2 years of their first actual hardware launch. So that would be Winter 2022.
Not sure what the debate is here. Apple themselves said they would be done the HW transition in 2 years. Why would anyone expect longer than that?
 

Kardonxt

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Aggressively priced and Apple don't seem to go together. They will save a few bucks on the CPU, but that isn't going to alter the pricing landscape.
Agreed. Apple will keep the price the same and increase profit. A decline in price by Mac user logic could indicate a decline in quality. If anything, I see Apple raising the price to show users it's better lol.
 
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ChadD

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Apple themselves during their keynote have stated that in the future (perhaps only "near" future) they will be releasing both x86 and ARM hardware to the desktop. Until it's possible to create a hardware stack that is good both on the mobile low power end all the way up to Mac Pro levels of performance on ARM, we'll continue to see x86 at Apple.
So, you have an interesting prediction. Do you think it will take 5 years for Apple to exceed what Intel is doing? Right now Intel's top workstation processor being used by Apple is a 28 core Xeon. Can Apple eclipse that processor and anything else Intel comes out with over the next 5 years or at minimum a close enough product to justify the switch?

I personally think for Apple it will take far less time. I would bet that they can move over to ARM even on the Mac Pro within 2 years of their first actual hardware launch. So that would be Winter 2022.

The thing is there is still plenty of other markets still heavily invested in x86 and they don't have access to Apple's far superior A series of ARM chips. I'm certain that Windows as an example will be stuck on x86 for a while.
Apple doesn't need to beat a 28 core Xeon or a 128 core Zen server chip... they don't even need to beat up 16 core HEDC chip.

They are about to ATTACK Intels bread and butter market... low-mid range consumer laptop parts.

In 2 years... when your options for a $999 laptop, include a shitty PC with a chip that hasn't evolved in a decade still running the super loved Windows 10. Or a sexy new Arm Macbook with 4-5x the battery life, better performance for every day tasks like web browsing with Apples SOC better system wide caches.... and Apple showing off custom accelerator things that make them attractive to people doing creative stuff. A thousand dollar macbook is going to be better at scrubbing 4k video... and running photoshop. These are going to be slick, and although I doubt Apple ever sells a low low cost Macbook. I do expect they are going to price their macbook line up to look extremely attractive.

Apple right now has 7% market share with their macbook line. If Apple launches a truly sexy Arm Macbook... and they hit that magic 10% number. I fully expect Microsoft and Intel to freak out. x86 isn't going to do anything fantastical it is what it is... but Intel pushing a ARM design out the door, and Microsoft taking another big swing at windows arm is likely imo.

If that happens... ya x86 in consumer devices is doomed. x86 will continue on in servers and super computers... as the software stacks in that market are extremely slow moving (its the main reason ARM hasn't already invaded those markets). In the high performance desktop market... ya x86 may live on a little while longer. Having said that if 90% of what the Dell and HPs of the world offer are ARM based... then ya x86 won't last long even on the high end. I would expect PS5 and XboxNextOne will be the final x86 consoles... and ya x86 will be on life support in 5 years, and forgotten in a decade. Server stacks will have caught up by then... and even super computer clusters will be using ARM, not counting the odd ball Chinese stuff.

I could be way off... predicting Apple would cut out x86 was a no brainer, the death of x86 is a bit more of a stretch. Seems completely logical to me though... Intel made the mistake years ago of punishing anyone else trying to make x86. ARM licencing to anyone is really the only way forward. There are just to many Apples and Samsungs in the tech world to try and force all these massive multi billion dollar firms to buy their most expensive parts from you (or the small handful of those that beat you in court) forever.
 

Red Falcon

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It will be a big nail if it drives Microsoft to get much more serious pushing Windows on ARM.
Not likely. Microsoft is married to x86 for better or for worse. If you're running Windows you expect to be able to run legacy apps without having to do anything. ARM has always failed because you can't pop the disc into a computer, install the software you wanted, and have it work. Apple is really on the opposite of this spectrum, they have made the transition before and their userbase is far more accepting that all of their legacy software will go away. It also greatly helps Apple that they have a huge library of software that will take minimal work to get running on this new operating system. If all of the codebase can remain largely unchanged, you just need to spend a little bit of time adding mouse support to an iPad app and it will probably work on a laptop or desktop well enough.
Looks like Microsoft already has Microsoft Office, and Adobe with Photoshop, etc., all running on MacOS with the METAL API on Apple's ARM architecture:
(video is timestamped at 1:37:15)
 
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ChadD

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Aggressively priced and Apple don't seem to go together. They will save a few bucks on the CPU, but that isn't going to alter the pricing landscape.
It doesn't sound like them I know... having said that. The Jobs afterglow is dying off (not sure if saying that is bad taste or not)... iphone sales have plateaued, mac sales are stagnant. I am not saying where in for $200 macbooks to compete with chromebooks. I do however expect Apple may see this as an opportunity to push their macbook market share into the double digits if they can go after that lucrative mid range laptop market. $700-1000 macbooks, I can see Cook going there. Would give him something to talk about other then declining iphone marketshare.
 

SOAREVERSOR

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You haven't payed attention to their offerings then.
MBA was novel and was more than competitively priced. It took PC competitors and Intel literally creating a hardware stack and 3-5 years to get anything close.
iMac has long been incredible bang for the buck especially when considering the displays they use generally have costed $1000-$2000 as a separate display. And there are 1:1 examples of this, such as the Dell 5k panel running the same panel basically costing as much as a base level iMac alone.
The Mac Pro is basically the best workstation in terms of cost and performance when considering any other pre-built manufacturer like HP or Dell. The Afterburner card is unparelled in speed for video editors and the dual Vega II is the fastest GPU literally in any workstation money can buy. Even not considering those custom pieces of hardware, dollar per dollar Apple is very competitive in the OEM workstation space.

Many apple products are aggressively priced for what you get. But there is still a problem they face. There are really two tiers of computer customers, those who shop at best buy and cannot afford a mac, and those who shop at the apple store and can. As well priced as some of them (now) are they are still out of the price range for most people. The more apple products you see the higher earning an area you're living in.

But again, part of the perception that "windows PCs are garbage" is exactly because of the products in best buy.
 

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1_rick

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In 2 years... when your options for a $999 laptop, include a shitty PC with a chip that hasn't evolved in a decade still running the super loved Windows 10. Or a sexy new Arm Macbook with 4-5x the battery life, better performance for every day tasks like web browsing with Apples SOC better system wide caches.... and Apple showing off custom accelerator things that make them attractive to people doing creative stuff. A thousand dollar macbook is going to be better at scrubbing 4k video... and running photoshop.
And that'd be great, if I ran photoshop and scrubbed 4k video. But I use a bunch of software that doesn't exist for Macs, so I'm not going to switch.
 

Red Falcon

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Which is funny, because they still don't have Office compiled for ARM64 working on Windows 10. Are they just getting paid more by Apple, or just a lack of direction?

https://www.reddit.com/r/microsoft/comments/dk5nkx/is_there_an_office_native_arm_app/

It seems the Windows RT Office port was a one-off :rolleyes:
They could have ported/modified the base-code from the iOS Office Apps to do this, too.
But yeah, you're right, the fact they don't have this natively for any other ARM-based platform, including their own? Ouch.

The days of WinTel are surely starting to fade...
 

bman212121

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Looks like Microsoft already has Microsoft Office running on MacOS with the METAL API on Apple's ARM architecture:
(video is timestamped at 1:37:15)
I'm well aware, I actually watched the keynote. ;) But I'm not really sure why you quoted me about that as Microsoft has had office on ARM for quite some time. Having office on ARM shows that Microsoft is more than willing to develop first party applications, but Windows ecosystem revolves around a lot more than 1st party applications. You could easily make due without Desktop Office at all because you can use O365 in a web browser.

Which is funny, because they still don't have Office compiled for ARM64 working on Windows 10. Are they just getting paid more by Apple, or just a lack of direction?

https://www.reddit.com/r/microsoft/comments/dk5nkx/is_there_an_office_native_arm_app/

It seems the Windows RT Office port was a one-off :rolleyes:
The Mac market is still a lot bigger than the Windows on ARM market. I'm sure there was probably incentives to make it work, but Mac is likely still enough of a piece of the pie that Microsoft cares about it. One thing I don't think a lot of people get is that Microsoft and Apple are a lot closer to the hip than they realize, and chances are someone specifically reached out to get this done. There might not be someone inside of Microsoft who's handling WoA who has that same kind of ability. At one point Office was basically it's own division within Microsoft, so much so that they were basically competing for resources with the Windows team. So while they might all be under one umbrella, don't assume they work together and better than they do with other customers.
 

Red Falcon

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And that'd be great, if I ran photoshop and scrubbed 4k video. But I use a bunch of software that doesn't exist for Macs, so I'm not going to switch.
No, if you don't join the Apple movement right this instant and agree with us 100%, regardless of your own individual wants and needs, then you aren't one of us, and that makes you a racist technologist. :D
Ah, good times, and really, use what works for you. (y)
 

Red Falcon

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I'm well aware, I actually watched the keynote. ;) But I'm not really sure why you quoted me about that as Microsoft has had office on ARM for quite some time. Having office on ARM shows that Microsoft is more than willing to develop first party applications, but Windows ecosystem revolves around a lot more than 1st party applications. You could easily make due without Desktop Office at all because you can use O365 in a web browser.
Eh, I guess that's all I was getting at as well. :)
It is ironic what Microsoft does, or in this case, doesn't do.

It is good to see so many major software developers developing for ARM, or at least Apple's iteration of it, and hopefully more 3rd party ARM platforms will follow.
 

bman212121

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They could have ported/modified the base-code from the iOS Office Apps to do this, too.
But yeah, you're right, the fact they don't have this natively for any other ARM-based platform, including their own? Ouch.

The days of WinTel are surely starting to fade...
Not to derail the thread too much, but according to:

https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/worldwide

It looks like OSX has actually picked up some market share recently. Clearly Microsoft is hurting so badly with the 3/4 of the global market they'll be doomed any day now. :p But ignoring that, OSX is up to 18% of the market. That's a decent chunk of potential users who could be lost to things like G Suite, so it makes perfect sense why OSX has much higher priority than Windows on ARM does.
 

bman212121

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Eh, I guess that's all I was getting at as well. :)
It is ironic what Microsoft does, or in this case, doesn't do.

It is good to see so many major software developers developing for ARM, or at least Apple's iteration of it, and hopefully more 3rd party ARM platforms will follow.
I'd say that Apple is in a completely unique situation here. Unlike Microsoft, they have a larger ecosystem in ARM than they do in x86. So while they might lose some developers and software by making the switch, they could very well be adding more developers than they would lose. All of those iPhone / iPad developers have a much greater incentive to compile for Mac now since it's going to use largely the same codebase. For Microsoft to make that kind of transition their ARM ecosystem is effectively zero, first party or 3rd party. It would be a very tough sell for them to get a lot of big names on board.

So the only other big player is Google, but they are basically the opposite of Microsoft. They have a dominant position in the mobile space, but basically no market share in the desktop space. I don't think Google would have the ability to make an ARM for laptop push and get feature rich software on their devices. You won't see Autodesk, 3dsmax be willing to pay Google a 30% royalty tax just to get their software onto some chromebooks. So Google leading that charge for desktops probably won't happen either.

In order for Microsoft to even think about making a jump to ARM I actually think Apple needs to be very successful. If Apple gets all of the big names writing code for ARM, that could be the window of opportunity that would make the switch for Microsoft even a remote possibility. I don't think Microsoft can do it themselves, but if Apple blazes the trail it could at least open the door potentially for Microsoft. But even then in the Windows world it would probably require concessions from Microsoft to make the store free or allow non store apps on ARM. Without those pieces it probably won't work. Apple on the other hand has more control to call the shots, so they will.
 

ChadD

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Many apple products are aggressively priced for what you get. But there is still a problem they face. There are really two tiers of computer customers, those who shop at best buy and cannot afford a mac, and those who shop at the apple store and can. As well priced as some of them (now) are they are still out of the price range for most people. The more apple products you see the higher earning an area you're living in.

But again, part of the perception that "windows PCs are garbage" is exactly because of the products in best buy.
And that'd be great, if I ran photoshop and scrubbed 4k video. But I use a bunch of software that doesn't exist for Macs, so I'm not going to switch.
Well your a minority, at least in regards to mass market consumer stuff.

The truth is most mass market consumers today using Windows PCs.... are doing nothing that can't be run on a mac.

The low end market that was out there a decade ago already died off... replaced by phones. People that used to have crappy low rent PCs... now happily use phones and tablets.

This Apple move is the next wave.... going after the millions of people that no longer have desktops. Having chosen instead to buy a 500-1500 laptop and use nothing else. That is the ripe market today. The hardware and software can cover that market quite well.

Once that market falls.... the higher end desktop and gamer markets are the next up. That change I would expect would come a lot quicker. As much as we all love our AMD 3950x and Intel 14nm++++ parts and all dream of owning that killer ripper machine. If the price on those parts starts to carry a wider and wider premium price. Our market as well will fall. The change will come faster then any of us expect I believe. I would not be shocked if in 4 or 5 years people are arguing what is better... AMD x86 Zen5 / Intel 10nm+++++ parts or AMD ARM Zen 5 / Intel 5nm+++ ARM SOC parts. When the mass consumer market for x86 falls... the highest end won't be more then a few years behind.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Many apple products are aggressively priced for what you get. But there is still a problem they face. There are really two tiers of computer customers, those who shop at best buy and cannot afford a mac, and those who shop at the apple store and can. As well priced as some of them (now) are they are still out of the price range for most people. The more apple products you see the higher earning an area you're living in.

But again, part of the perception that "windows PCs are garbage" is exactly because of the products in best buy.
Apple has machines in the $900 category that do end up in Best Buy. I agree with you in the sense that it’s unlikely they will make a sub $700 laptop ($699 or whatever) but I think people will extend themselves more and more to get their entry level models.

College kids as an example (people with notoriously no money) have long stretched to get Macs and Apple has worked incredibly well in that space for well over a decade. All Apple needs is a $700-$800 entry level MacBook that crushes any Wintel option in terms of performance and battery life (and likely display quality). Considering they’ve shown they can already do that (the iPad Pro 2018 from 2 years ago or the stop-gap 2020 iPad Pro using the same A12X/A12Z), Apple has done more than enough to leverage themselves to take that market.

Essentially all they need to do for a new MacBook is take the same iPad Pro hardware, add macOS, and a laptop form factor and sell it for the same price as an entry level iPad Pro. And voila they’re already there.
 
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aokman

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This seems pretty unlikely. Don't forget NT ran on at least 3 other architectures, and so did Windows Mobile. Getting everyone to convert their apps is probably going to be much harder than it was for Apple, who has no interest in backwards compatibility.

I wonder if it would be feasible to stick an ARM CPU and an x86 one in a machine instead of emulating.
Easily possible under Metal.
 
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I can't stand Apple products. Good for them for switching to ARM. Won't make a difference for me until windows and Linux makes the switch as Apple has never had much market share at all in the consumer PC market
 

UnknownSouljer

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I can't stand Apple products. Good for them for switching to ARM. Won't make a difference for me until windows and Linux makes the switch as Apple has never had much market share at all in the consumer PC market
I've long been an advocate for using the software/hardware necessary for you to do your job and I acknowledge personal preference as being a part of that. So if you're running Wintel or Lintel or whatever because that's what you need for work and for what you do then by all means continue that path so long as it's relevant.

But the one thing to think about and perhaps challenge yourself on is about relevance. At a certain point if things head towards their current conclusion ARM via Apple will exceed what Intel/AMD are doing in the desktop PC market.
Apple themselves have stated they expect their hardware to transition completely over to ARM within 2 years. That means they are already working towards a system that is at least as good, but likely faster, than what their current top Mac Pro offers, which is an Intel 28 Core Xeon with up to 4x Vega II's, which squarely places it above every other OEM workstation.

If they can outclass that hardware and do it for less, how much faster for the cost does Apple have to be for you to at minimum consider them? If Apple ARM literally becomes 4x faster than equivalent Wintel offerings would you switch? What about 10x faster? In other words, it will eventually become adapt or die. I don't think any company is worth dying on a hill for (Apple included).
It's possible that AMD and Intel both might come up with a better x86 solution that is a quantum leap faster. But there is nothing like that on the horizon or on any roadmap. Zen 3 will crush Intel, but crushing ARM will be an entirely different bag of worms. Especially when performance per watt is through the roof and there is a much more obvious roadmap to increase performance than on x86.

All is yet to be revelaed, but in 2 years when an ARM Mac Pro drops, it's going to get real interesting in the PC space. Whether you're on Mac ARM or hanging on Intel/AMD x86 Windows/Linux.
 
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