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Old 2018-04-03, 00:42   #1
ewmayer
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Default Apple Moving to ARM CPUs?

Forget in which thread it occurred, but sometime in the past few months one of our forum members mentioned rumors of Apple switching from Intel to ARM's RISC-based CPU tech in their PCs and laptops. If Bloomberg's info is right this would point to that:

Apple Plans to Use Its Own Chips in Macs From 2020, Replacing Intel - Bloomberg

"Intel chips remain some of the only major processor components designed by others inside Apple’s product portfolio. Currently, all iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs use main processors designed by Apple and based on technology from Arm Holdings Plc. Moving to its own chips inside Macs would let Apple release new models on its own timelines, instead of relying on Intel’s processor roadmap."
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Old 2018-04-03, 02:21   #2
GP2
 
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It's only surprising it took them this long.

They did two previous architecture switches successfully, from Motorola 68xxx to PowerPC to Intel. So there is little risk. In any case, actual computers are an afterthought in their product line nowadays.
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Old 2018-04-03, 08:48   #3
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If anyone can do it, it is Apple. Have to wonder, does that imply high performance ARM CPUs in the future? Not saying they can't do basic stuff, but if they're going to replace the range, there also needs to be a high end still. I've kinda wondered what ARM might look like if you "go large".
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Old 2018-04-03, 08:54   #4
Dubslow
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I wonder how much crapware will come preinstalled on this hardware below the OS? Could it possibly be more libre than recent Intel/AMD chips?
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Old 2018-04-03, 10:27   #5
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My guess is that it'll only be a low-end laptop similar to a chromebook or ultraportable initially (if at all).
Target those that really don't need anything more than basic office applications, web-browsing, and email.

I can't see power hungry media creation systems moving across to arm.
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Old 2018-04-03, 11:42   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
I wonder how much crapware will come preinstalled on this hardware below the OS? Could it possibly be more libre than recent Intel/AMD chips?
If it's anything like the iOS devices, it will only boot signed software until someone like fail0verflow cracks it.
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Old 2018-04-03, 20:47   #7
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackerel View Post
If anyone can do it, it is Apple. Have to wonder, does that imply high performance ARM CPUs in the future? Not saying they can't do basic stuff, but if they're going to replace the range, there also needs to be a high end still. I've kinda wondered what ARM might look like if you "go large".
If I were gonna pump up the current v8 offerings to be be competitive with Intel AVX2, I'd start with something like the current cortex-a72, double the width of the vectors from 128 to 256-bit, and provide 4, 8 and 16-core offerings.
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Old 2018-04-04, 05:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
If I were gonna pump up the current v8 offerings to be be competitive with Intel AVX2, I'd start with something like the current cortex-a72, double the width of the vectors from 128 to 256-bit, and provide 4, 8 and 16-core offerings.
For vector width increase, you will have to wait for CPU implementing SVE. As far as I know, the only company that has announced such a beast is Fujitsu for Post-K Riken supercomputer.

Widening vectors is not necessarily the way to go: it can be as good and more flexible to have more narrower units at least as long as you have enough registers to avoid having to spill to memory too often
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Old 2018-04-04, 16:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldesnogu View Post
For vector width increase, you will have to wait for CPU implementing SVE. As far as I know, the only company that has announced such a beast is Fujitsu for Post-K Riken supercomputer.

Widening vectors is not necessarily the way to go: it can be as good and more flexible to have more narrower units at least as long as you have enough registers to avoid having to spill to memory too often
I can't get Firefox or IE to open this link. FF says:
Code:
Fastly error: unknown domain: community.arm.com. Please check that this domain has been added to a service.
 Details: cache-mdw17348-MDW

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2018-04-04 at 16:27
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Old 2018-04-04, 16:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
I can't get Firefox or IE to open this link. FF says:
Code:
Fastly error: unknown domain: community.arm.com. Please check that this domain has been added to a service.
 Details: cache-mdw17348-MDW
No problems for me to open the link (Windows 7 Home Premium; Firefox 59.0.2 (64-bitars)).
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Old 2018-04-04, 17:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
I wonder how much crapware will come preinstalled on this hardware below the OS? Could it possibly be more libre than recent Intel/AMD chips?
Doubtful -- they're control freaks, and the hackintoshes scare them. I expect end-to-end control.
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