“The Apple/ARM rumor du jour is that Apple will transition its entire portable Mac line to ARM-based CPUs, dropping Intel altogether. Sources speaking to Semi Accurate claim this is a “done deal,” and the move should happen by 2013, when a 64-bit ARM A15 core becomes available,” Chris Foresman writes for Ars Technica. “While a future generation of Apple’s A5 processor could make some sense for something akin to the MacBook Air, the claim that Apple will ditch Intel wholesale for ARM just doesn’t add up.”
“From an OS point of view, it wouldn’t be that difficult—iOS and Mac OS X are both based on more or less the same code base, and iOS already runs on ARM,” Foresman writes. “Here’s what’s wrong with the prediction. A processor using four 64-bit A15 ARM cores running at 2.5GHz in 2013 is expected to have performance on par with a 2GHz Core2 Duo available today. Apple has already moved its MacBook Pro line to Sandy Bridge chips, and should be moving the MacBook Air to Sandy Bridge later this summer. Those chips already outperform Core2 Duo chips by a quantum leap at similar clock speeds.”
Foresman writes, “In the next year or so, Intel will release an update to Sandy Bridge called Ivy Bridge. This new generation of processors will utilize Intel’s new 3D transistor technology on a 22nm process, bringing either significant power savings in low voltage designs, speed improvements at higher voltages, or some combination of the two… With no clear performance or efficiency benefit derived from moving to ARM, it doesn’t seem likely Apple will be ditching Intel wholesale for its notebooks, even two years from now. However unlikely, though, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple won’t use ARM processors for future Mac-like computers… There are factors that combined could push Apple in the direction of ARM, especially at the low end, but those factors rely on a lot of big ifs.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
RUMOR: Apple to dump Intel for Apple ARM-based chips within 24-36 months – May 6, 2011