vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
Countdown to 2019 and win big with the HEXUS Epic Giveaway [x]
facebook rss twitter

Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

by Mark Tyson on 3 April 2018, 10:31

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadscn

Add to My Vault: x

Insider sources talking to Bloomberg have indicated that Apple is preparing to transition away from Intel chips for its Mac computers. This doesn't signify a move to AMD, the change is much bigger than that, as people familiar with the plans say Intel's CPUs will be replaced by an Apple in-house design.

Apple's new computer CPU plans are codenamed 'Kalamata' and are said to be in their early stages of development at this time. However, the first Macs with Apple's own designed chips aren't really that far away, with the sources indicating that the first machines sporting the processors could arrive in 2020. Bloomberg admits that Apple "could still theoretically abandon or delay the switch," but it must see good reasons to make the move and has made similar moves in its recent history.

Back in 2005 Apple computers started their last major transition - away from PowerPC to Intel CPUs. Since that time major revisions and releases have been step timed to match Intel's processor generation releases - just like others in the PC industry. Being able to break from another organisation's calendar will be good for Apple. Furthermore it will have greater control over the CPU architecture' optimising operations that it sees as most important and so on.

A year ago we saw Apple began to end its reliance on Imagination Tech for its mobile device GPUs. Whilst very bad news for Imagination, Apple's move made sense in that it could implement "a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products". This vertical integration also gives better control over costs and schedules. Apple has move quickly and it has already debuted its first in-house GPU design in the iPhone 8 and X models.

With all the talk about Macs and iOS devices getting closer over time, it is likely that the first Macs that transition from Intel chips will use something based upon the Arm architecture. Apple may leverage top end AXX designs with greater power budgets. The Windows PC industry has just started to see Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 PCs emerge. Similarly, the first Apple Macs with Apple designed CPUs are likely to be laptops.

Apple's newest SoC is the A11 Bionic, currently only used in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X. Back in September last year PCPer did some interesting benchmarks and tests on the A11 comparing it with various Qualcomm, Huawei and Intel SOCs.

Understandably Intel shares reacted badly to this news, as it broke around 1.45pm US Eastern time yesterday. Share values were down as much as 9.2 per cent during the day but recovered somewhat to close at 6.4 per cent down.



HEXUS Forums :: 30 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Sounds a lot like Apple want rid of “Hackintosh” PCs.
iworrall
Sounds a lot like Apple want rid of “Hackintosh” PCs.

That's one thing… and also means that people who know that an Apple computer specs are often beaten by a cheaper pc equivalent cannot use that argument against them. Vertical integration is the key I think however - their whole line will be more integrated, because they will use the same gfx core in the whole product range - possibly even the same cpu cores. In fact I wouldn't be surprised that eventually everything will be iOS based
I wonder how they're going to handle this switch on their workstation macs. Can even the highest-power ARM cores keep up with x86? For GPUs, I assume a PCI-E bus can be integrated nicely, but how much work would be involved in developing drivers for AMD/Nvidia on ARM?

I'm placing my bets on them using a custom AMD chip, or at least deriving from one, in this segment. I just don't see how they'll be able to develop a chip in-house that'll keep up with the existing x86 chips created from decades of engineering experience.
afiretruck
I wonder how they're going to handle this switch on their workstation macs. Can even the highest-power ARM cores keep up with x86? For GPUs, I assume a PCI-E bus can be integrated nicely, but how much work would be involved in developing drivers for AMD/Nvidia on ARM?

I'm placing my bets on them using a custom AMD chip, or at least deriving from one, in this segment. I just don't see how they'll be able to develop a chip in-house that'll keep up with the existing x86 chips created from decades of engineering experience.
It's their own ISA.
Throw all existing standards out of the window, they're building from pretty much ground up.
After all the work they put into getting thunderbolt adopted, you would think there is good reason to license that though?
There will have to be a strong focus on emulation if it's entirely seperated from X86, otherwise there going to be a lot of software companies under a lot of pressure to rewrite code.
So Apple's new CPU is codenamed after a Greek region known for its olive oil?

What's the A12 going to be named then, ‘Kalamari’? :)

(Though, oddly, that would make sense: tentacles = cores)