Friday, May 6, 2011
Posted by Joe Johaneman in "Apple Talk" @ 09:00 AM
"The short story is that Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible. With A15/Eagle allowing more than 32-bit memory access, things look up, but it seems silly to do so before the full 64 bit cores come in the following generation. Nvidia is directly telling certain favored analysts that they will have Denver out in Q4 of 2012, maybe Q1/2013, and that uses the full on 64-bit ARM instruction set. It won't be out by then, but that gives you a good estimation of when that ISA will break cover from one vendor or other. Think mid-2013."
We generally don't report on rumors here, especially when all of those rumors point to the same article as a source. However, this one was a little too interesting to resist. For one thing, it makes sense for Apple to have all of their devices running on the same architecture. ARM processors are lower power than Intel processors, which would make for longer battery life, especially on laptops with SSD's, and Apple certainly loves to tout their battery life figures. This would be a real pain for developers though, as they would need both Intel machines and ARM machines to target and deploy their apps, though at least they'd be using the same code; they'd just need to compile twice. It would probably also bring the return of Universal Binaries, which have been pretty much eliminated now that PPC processors haven't been used in Apple computers for years. I don't believe that desktops would be affected. ARM processors, at least at this point in time, don't have the power necessary to replace Intel chips in the iMac and Mac Pro lines. And I'd like to state again that this is all conjecture at this point. Until Apple makes an announcement, and they probably won't until it actually happens, we can only guess, and 2013 is still a long way off. What do you think? Does this make sense for Apple?