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News Apple announces Mac transition to Apple silicon

llien

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In a "historic day for the Mac", Apple today announced it will transition the Mac to its "world-class custom silicon" to deliver "industry-leading performance" and powerful new technologies. Developers can now get started updating their apps to take advantage of the "advanced capabilities of Apple silicon" in the Mac. This transition will also establish a common architecture across all Apple products, making it far easier for developers to write and optimize their apps for the entire ecosystem.

Apple today also introduced macOS Big Sur, the next major release of macOS, which delivers its biggest update in more than a decade and includes technologies that will ensure a smooth and seamless transition to Apple silicon. Developers can easily convert their existing apps to run on Apple silicon, taking advantage of its powerful technologies and performance. And for the first time, developers can make their iOS and iPadOS apps available on the Mac without any modifications.



Family of Mac SoCs to Deliver Powerful New Features and Best-in-Class Performance
For over a decade, Apple's world-class silicon design team has been building and refining Apple SoCs. The result is a scalable architecture custom designed for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that leads the industry in unique features and performance per watt, and makes each of them best in class. Building upon this architecture, Apple is designing a family of SoCs for the Mac. This will give the Mac industry-leading performance per watt and higher performance GPUs—enabling app developers to write even more powerful pro apps and high-end games. And access to technologies such as the Neural Engine will make the Mac an amazing platform for developers to use machine learning. This will also create a common architecture across all Apple products, making it far easier for developers to write and optimize software for the entire Apple ecosystem.

macOS Big Sur Enables Transition to Apple Silicon
In macOS Big Sur, Apple is offering a range of technologies to make the transition to Apple silicon smooth and seamless. With everything built into Xcode 12, such as native compilers, editors, and debugging tools, most developers will be able to get their apps running in a matter of days. Using Universal 2 application binaries, developers will be able to easily create a single app that taps into the native power and performance of the new Macs with Apple silicon, while still supporting Intel-based Macs. With the translation technology of Rosetta 2, users will be able to run existing Mac apps that have not yet been updated, including those with plug-ins. Virtualization technology allows users to run Linux. Developers can also make their iOS and iPadOS apps available on the Mac without any modifications.

Quick Start Program Lets Developers Get Started Today
Apple Developer Program members can start moving their apps to Apple silicon today by applying for the Universal App Quick Start Program. The program provides access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12, and includes the limited use of a DTK, which will enable developers to build and test their Universal 2 apps. The DTK, which must be returned to Apple at the end of the program, consists of a Mac mini with Apple's A12Z Bionic SoC inside and desktop specs, including 16 GB of memory, a 512 GB SSD, and a variety of Mac I/O ports. Developers can apply to the program at developer.apple.com, and the total cost of the program is $500.

TPU


The walls are getting higher.
Remember when those things with IBM chip in them were "fastest in the world"?


There seems to be something about beeping and mac users, chuckle:

 

V2Tommy

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I'm glad all this publicity might finally make people stop spelling it silicone. Drives me fucking nuts. You're supposed to be a computer nerd, but you sound like a mangle.
 
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Kazekage1981

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1) is apple doing the same thing like Microsoft with Windows for ARM?
2) In terms of performance, does ARM even compete with x86 AMD and Intel processors-particularly for desktops? You only have a few die shrinks left until quantum computing
3) If they didnt like Intel, why not just go with AMD? They have a great portfolio of CPU, GPU, APU

The new MAC OS looks sleek and polished and love the transparent effects. Reminds me of Windows 7 aero/glass effect. Wish windows 10 would use that
 
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LordCBH

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1) is apple doing the same thing like Microsoft with Windows for ARM?
2) In terms of performance, does ARM even compete with x86 AMD and Intel processors-particularly for desktops? You only have a few die shrinks left until quantum computing
3) If they didnt like Intel, why not just go with AMD? They have a great portfolio of CPU, GPU, APU

The new MAC OS looks sleek and polished and love the transparent effects. Reminds me of Windows 7 aero/glass effect. Wish windows 10 would use that
1) if referring to an emulation I’d x86, yes. They even showed off the emulation using Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Maya. Both were pretty impressive IMO.
2)they demod Final Cut Pro from what I remember and it looked prettt damn good, but of course we won’t know truly how it performs and scales until it gets into the Wild
3) price is 100% a driving factor in the switch. Instead of paying intel or AMD they can simply design their own chips using the boatloads of talent they’ve acquired over the past 10-15 years. Edit: plus they don’t have to be beholden to intels garbage release schedule and they won’t be stuck on Skylake+++++++++++++ anymore.
 
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EviLore

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As someone thats never owned a mac. Could someone Eli5 this to me. Seems important?
Macs and Macbooks currently run on Intel x86 chipsets, just like Windows PCs have for decades. An operating system needs to be made for a specific kind of processors. Right now, you can run Windows on Mac computers since they share the same hardware architecture.

Going forward, Macs and Macbooks will use Apple's own ARM chipsets, just like iPhones and iPads use. OSX and any applications that run on OSX for x86 will have to be updated (recompiled) for the eventual OSX that runs on ARM. If they aren't updated, they will still be usable in emulation, but typically that incurs a performance and stability penalty. So the transition from x86 to ARM may be rocky for early adopters of the ARM Macbooks, but Apple is promising really good emulation performance and aggressively updating all of its own apps from day 1, as well as Office and Adobe CC, so most people should be in decent shape out of the gate.

The upside is that iOS apps will be able to run natively in OSX (lots of cool possibilities there, with music apps and games), and Apple's chipsets are fast, efficient, and have great integrated graphics performance.
 

-Arcadia-

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It sounds like the switch will be rough, and Windows compatibility will likely be lost, which is quite the hit, but it could pay big dividends.

Casual here, so maybe I’m falling for the marketing, but aren’t Apple’s chips generally industry leading in their fields? Being able to have the rest of the lineup benefit from that seems pretty cool
 
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LordCBH

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It sounds like the switch will be rough, and Windows compatibility will likely be lost, which is quite the hit, but it could pay big dividends.

Casual here, so maybe I’m falling for the marketing, but aren’t Apple’s chips generally industry leading in their fields? Being able to have the rest of the lineup benefit from that seems pretty cool
yeah their A series chips have gotten fantastic over the years. The dev box is using the exact same one from the iPad Pro and the performance so far looks great.
 
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DrAspirino

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1) is apple doing the same thing like Microsoft with Windows for ARM?
2) In terms of performance, does ARM even compete with x86 AMD and Intel processors-particularly for desktops? You only have a few die shrinks left until quantum computing
3) If they didnt like Intel, why not just go with AMD? They have a great portfolio of CPU, GPU, APU

The new MAC OS looks sleek and polished and love the transparent effects. Reminds me of Windows 7 aero/glass effect. Wish windows 10 would use that
1) Yes: full macOS on ARM, just like full Windows 10 on ARM. Sure there are some software that needs porting, but the foundations are there.

2) ARM architecture competes toe to toe with Intel and AMD in performance-per-watt. Sure, there are more powerful options on Intel and AMD, but at a significantly higher energy consumption and heat output.

3) The main problem is x86 architecture: is just inefficient for the time being. Heck, they've optimized the hell out of it since it was first released in 1978, and they've reached a plateau. AMD knows that, Intel knows that, both have in-house solutions for that. On the Intel side, they had the IA-64 architecture (which they still own) and AMD is focused on their GPUs.

Heck, even nVidia knows that and they have their own ARM platform (Tegra) anticipating what's coming.
 
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Proper tech noob here - does this also mean Apple are ditching AMD for GPU's and going full on SoC for even their workstations and Macbook Pro's?

I'd be really surprised if they develop anything more powerful than what AMD and Nvidia offer.
 

llien

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The main problem is x86 architecture: is just inefficient for the time being. Heck, they've optimized the hell out of it since it was first released in 1978, and they've reached a plateau.
Dude... you are referring to CPUs that buried RISC arch bar ARM (funny instruction set with "oh, you cannot load that number into register in one go"). It was the other way round, with fab node advances, RISC CPUs stopped having "but we can branch predict much further ahead" (for ages, CPUs execute not just the instruction "at hand" but to run ahead and do multiple upcoming instructions in parallel)

Still, ARM is so low margin/cheapo thing Intel financials would barely change even if it would get 100% of that market.

ARM is competitive with big brothers in low power area, we have never seen high power ARM chips... and perhaps there are reasons for that.

Apple has likely started working on it way before Ryzen hit, and even with amazing Renoir out there, they know they can make even more money (and save on ecosystem support as well) with own chips.
And if they lose in benchmarks, oh wall who was buying apple devices because they are faster than others, anyhow.

Proper tech noob here - does this also mean Apple are ditching AMD for GPU's and going full on SoC for even their workstations and Macbook Pro's?
Yes, they clearly state that it's a System on Chip and "great GPU" performance.
 
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DrAspirino

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Still, ARM is so low margin/cheapo thing Intel financials would barely change even if it would get 100% of that market.

ARM is competitive with big brothers in low power area, we have never seen high power ARM chips... and perhaps there are reasons for that.

Apple has likely started working on it way before Ryzen hit, and even with amazing Renoir out there, they know they can make even more money (and save on ecosystem support as well) with own chips.
And if they lose in benchmarks, oh wall who was buying apple devices because they are faster than others, anyhow.
I wouldn't think so. Intel is "in the ropes" right now, since they're losing Apple (its biggest client) and AMD is innovating and gaining marketshare within the mobile, desktop and even server environments. Intel hasn't been able to reduce their fab process and its showing.

I, for one, see this as a great opportunity for AMD to storm full-force against Intel, since they're weak right now.

And yes, nobody buys Apple for their raw performance. There are certainly better options for that.
 

Ceallach

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I mean, it is what it is. People who are loyal to Apple's ecosystem will follow them wherever they go.

People who don't buy into it and people who just like to shit on Apple were never a factor to begin with for them.

This ultimately is just going to be more profitable to Apple in the long run.
 
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belmarduk

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The 11-inch MacBook Air was the best laptop ever made... I really hope they release something similar soon. Right now, there is only a negligible weight difference between the Air and the Pro and the only reason anyone would buy an Air is to save a few hundred bucks.
 

Kazekage1981

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Will apple ever incorporate the Apple Pencil and touchscreen to MacOS Big Sur and future upgrades in hardware and software?

Windows has the Windows Ink and touch screen.
 

Kazekage1981

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I am mostly a windows user, but I am really starting to like the new BigSur UI design. Very similar to windows fluent design with aero/transparency. But I never really got the weird interface look of MacOS. I keep hearing about Macs being great in stability and just super fast. Since they will have more control of their hardware, they will further optimize it and I am sure it will run buttery silky smooth. I am waiting for laptop MacOS that will have:

Full touch screen, HDR, Variable Refresh Rate, 1440p to 4k Resolution, and being able to use apple pencil
LPDDR5 RAM
NVME SSD Drive (similar to XsX and PS5 speeds lol)
5G
Wifi6
Latest Thunderbolt connection or USB 4.0
PCIE 5
ARM SOC which has decent CPU and GPU power that can run heavy intensive programs
Camera in front and back of laptop similar to the latest iphone and upcomming iphone 12.
Great sound similar to dolby atmos? (i dont know too much about sound quality for PC's and Macs)
Seamless integration with ipad and iphone

I have the Iphone 6s plus, and its great that my phone can last atleast 1 more year with iOS 14. It would be nice to have a mac, cause I am starting to get OS fatigue with windows

I really dig PROCREATE art app for ipad with ipad pencil!
 
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diffusionx

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In 2 years, there will be no Intel CPU or AMD GPU in Macs.

Somewhere, dancing through the wreckage of the x86 computer core, JENSEN HUANG WAS LAUGHING
I personally think they will launch high-end devices with discrete GPUs for a while. It's possible, though, that they will be Apple discrete GPUs, split off from the CPU. Intel is working on that now, and Apple's GPU tech has made amazing strides the past 3-4 years.

And yes, nobody buys Apple for their raw performance. There are certainly better options for that.
Well yea, nobody is buying Apple for benchmark numbers, but they buy high-end devices because it runs the things they need it to run as well as possible, stuff like PS or FCP or whatever. And it's obvious that's a major priority for these chips - it was one of the first things they talked about. I don't think you are going to lose a lot of performance on this software.
 
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iconmaster

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Proper tech noob here - does this also mean Apple are ditching AMD for GPU's and going full on SoC for even their workstations and Macbook Pro's?

I'd be really surprised if they develop anything more powerful than what AMD and Nvidia offer.
The Macs that feature discrete GPUs will most likely keep featuring them. Apple likes to make a few gestures at game performance even though no one expects much from them in that area.

The larger MacBooks incorporate both discrete and integrated graphics and switch between them.
 
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This is neat from a consumer tech perspective, but seems to be yet another nail in the coffin for professional use.

It's been an incredibly annoying decade for us software engineers and others who use Apple products at work.
 

Bitmap Frogs

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I wouldn't think so. Intel is "in the ropes" right now, since they're losing Apple (its biggest client) and AMD is innovating and gaining marketshare within the mobile, desktop and even server environments. Intel hasn't been able to reduce their fab process and its showing.

I, for one, see this as a great opportunity for AMD to storm full-force against Intel, since they're weak right now.

And yes, nobody buys Apple for their raw performance. There are certainly better options for that.
I don't want to appear abrasive but your post contains some gross inaccuracies.

Apple isn't Intel's biggest client. Also, Apple is barely a player in the high-margin xeon business line (only the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro have Xeons). This data shows the marketshare of personal computing vendors in 2019.

1Lenovo24.1%
2HP22.2%
3Dell16.8%
4Apple7.0%
5Acer5.7%
6Asus5.5%

Intel has reduced their fab process and is shipping 10nm products. However, on the more performant end of the spectrum they're still relying on their evolved 14nm arhitecture.

While I do not possess the consumer data to list the reasons why people buy Apple hardware, anecdotically if you browse the apple reddit or some dedicated sites like macrumors, you'll regularely see discussions around performance and in particulare there's been quite a bit of... eh... masturbatory excitement about the supposed performance benefits of Apple's ARM cpus: benchmarks are posted and discussed.
 
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Kazekage1981

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Does apple make their own 5G modem? I know there were issues with intel making a 5G modem and that went down the tank, so they went back to Qualcomm.
 

supernova8

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If Apple transitioning to ARM means lower prices for the consumer then great but we all know that'll never happen. Their BOM will go down (how much depending on how many units sold vs R&D costs) but their prices will likely stay the same. If you're an Apple customer then I wouldn't get excited. If you're an Apple shareholder I would get excited.
 
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TimFL

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Does apple make their own 5G modem? I know there were issues with intel making a 5G modem and that went down the tank, so they went back to Qualcomm.
They bought up Intels modem business & patents a year ago. They plan to rock their own modems in the near future (~5 years).
The Qualcomm alliance is just a temporary one that was more or less also (in addition to Intel going boom) done to settle the dispute they had (they probably pay a premium for their modems now).
 

Bitmap Frogs

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If Apple transitioning to ARM means lower prices for the consumer then great but we all know that'll never happen. Their BOM will go down (how much depending on how many units sold vs R&D costs) but their prices will likely stay the same. If you're an Apple customer then I wouldn't get excited. If you're an Apple shareholder I would get excited.
I've seen estimates that they'll save around 10% of the computers rsp which is insane considering their profit margin is already mental. It will also kill the hackintosh scene and those pesky "same parts pc" comparisons.

They bought up Intels modem business & patents a year ago. They plan to rock their own modems in the near future (~5 years).
The Qualcomm alliance is just a temporary one that was more or less also (in addition to Intel going boom) done to settle the dispute they had (they probably pay a premium for their modems now).
Apple's going bonkers with vertical integration. They sell so many i-devices they can afford things no one else can and in turn that drives their profitability even higher.
 
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supernova8

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I've seen estimates that they'll save around 10% of the computers rsp which is insane considering their profit margin is already mental. It will also kill the hackintosh scene and those pesky "same parts pc" comparisons.
Can always try running Mac OSX on the Raspberry Pi 24 or something.
 
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Anki

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I just tought of something, when ios apps will work on macos i can use netflix app to watch movies in 5.1 on macos 🙂
 
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ape2man

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I remember when apple switched from power pc to intel. Complete cluster fuck it took 2 years for the mac not to crash all the time
 

HUELEN10

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I remember when apple switched from power pc to intel. Complete cluster fuck it took 2 years for the mac not to crash all the time
I went through that transition as a user just fine... what were you running? Even the first intel Macs ran Rosetta at worst behaving like a late-model g3, at WORST. It faired admirably.
 

diffusionx

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I remember when apple switched from power pc to intel. Complete cluster fuck it took 2 years for the mac not to crash all the time
The first 2-3 revisions of Mac OS X were pretty buggy and unpolished but that was on PPC hardware.
 

MaestroMike

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If Apple transitioning to ARM means lower prices for the consumer then great but we all know that'll never happen. Their BOM will go down (how much depending on how many units sold vs R&D costs) but their prices will likely stay the same. If you're an Apple customer then I wouldn't get excited. If you're an Apple shareholder I would get excited.
*sigh* Apple was my number one stock I was going to buy after I was finished paying my loans which was last year, but then Warren Buffett had already started buying a ton of shares and the stock just kept going up and up. When I finally had the money, it was too expensive. Last year on this day it was $197, today it is $361. Shot up $164. Can't believe it!

 

supernova8

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*sigh* Apple was my number one stock I was going to buy after I was finished paying my loans which was last year, but then Warren Buffett had already started buying a ton of shares and the stock just kept going up and up. When I finally had the money, it was too expensive. Last year on this day it was $197, today it is $361. Shot up $164. Can't believe it!

Well if you're looking for interesting shares to buy, you could look at Boeing (way too big a corporation that the government would let them go under, and therefore massively underpriced with that in mind) or maybe AMD since they are (and will at least for the next 2 or 3 years) steamrolling Intel and look to be about to finally offer (some) competition to Nvidia. Plus, their earnings visibility due to the consoles is fantastic. More and more analysts are marking it as a buy.

I wish I'd got in at around $30 but I got in around $42 (currently around $50) so I can't really complain. As they keep paying down their debts their balance sheet will only continue to get stronger and I wouldn't be surprised if it exceeds $100 in the next year or so.
 
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