What should Apple be doing with ARM – and it’s not Macs

“According to recent Bloomberg story, Apple is exploring ways to move its line of Mac computers from Intel’s x86 processors over to ARM chips,” Antone Gonsalves writes for ReadWrite. “Is Apple really planning on building ARM-powered Macs, or does it have other plans for ARM technology?”

“The move away from Intel likely won’t happen in the Mac, where Apple currently benefits from Intel’s best-in-the-world manufacturing technology that delivers the highest-performing PC processors,” Gonsalves writes. “Instead, Apple is more likely to continue taking advantage of ARM’s superiority in power consumption to create brand new products.”

Gonsalves writes, “Using ARM as the foundation of multiple products would enable a unified experience across the devices, whether it is the long-rumored Apple TV or something else.”

Read more in the full article here.

15 Comments

  1. Miniaturization and greater efficiency with less weight would allow Apple to create new hardware designs not possible before. Assuming the ARM processors can have the horsepower of the Intel, Jony Ive and his team might produce some stunning Macs we couldn’t even imagine. We can only wait to see what happens.

  2. I think they got it all wrong.
    Apple did not switch to Intel because it was powerful, they switch because Intel had better “PERFORMANCE PER WATT” (A concept invented by Steve Jobs by the way).
    One of the side benefits was to create a more compatible platform to convert PC suffers from Windows to Mac.
    Now that PC is dying, being compatible is not an issue anymore since most of the “PCs” are now iPads and Tablets ( that’s right, they are not the same).
    ARM is a RISC architecture just like Power PC was and it’s main “Function” is to process task saving as much power as possible because it is mainly use in mobile devices.
    Apple brought P.A Semi, the creators of the most power efficient Power PC processor, also a RISC architecture, so Apple will have no issues at all to create an ARM core that will not be as efficient in power saving as the mobile ARM, but could be as powerful as the PowerPC with out consuming too much power.
    Apple’s A5 is already faster than some intel processor for encoding 1080p video
    my 2 dollars… 🙂

    1. yeah it amazes me how little vision some people have. Just because ARM is currently a low power low performance (when compared directly with the highest performance x86) doesn’t mean Apple couldn’t design a whole new high performance somewhat low power version that meets or exceeds intel’s.

      People seem to assume this is something thats going to happen next month. I think thats’ far too soon. The compatibility with Windows is only an issue as long as Windows is dominant. I don’t know if that will be a problem in 5 years, maybe 10.

    2. “PERFORMANCE PER WATT” (A concept invented by Steve Jobs by the way).

      *cough* bullsh*t *cough*

      The measurement and concept have been used for eons and originally took root in the Super Computing Field.

      Just because you had never heard of it when Steve started talking about it does not mean he invented it. 😉

      1. Here you have Steve Jobs speaking about that 5 years ago WITH VIDEO? do you have evidence of somebody else talking about that? and please do not cite “wikipedia” because you where they get their info.

        I believe Steve jobs didn’t invented the term (although still waiting for your evidence that he did not), but let’s be honest, no body care about that until Steve bring that term to the table.

        1. That is neat that he jumped on the marketing band wagon but the term has been in use for a long time, it just didn’t become a critically looked at metric until the embedded and mobile space really took off.

          You used to hear claims in the HPC domain about X flops or Gflops per watt. That is where the idea of computing power per watt really took hold. This was back in the late 70s to early 80s.

          As the mobile and embedded space became more critical the performance per watt metric become much more important and started to be a major marketing term in the early 2000s.

          here is a link from may 2000 mentioning “Performance per watt” and a PDF from Mercury Systems in 2003 where the metric is examined in PPC driven radar applications.

          http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articles/print/volume-11/issue-5/features/technology-focus/altivec-continues-its-charge-up-the-dsp-hill.html

          see slide 2:
          http://www.ll.mit.edu/HPEC/agendas/proc03/pdfs/Cico_A-3.pdf

      2. Of course Steve didn’t invent the PPW metric, just like he didn’t invent alot of things that people attribute to him. What he did do, and what Apple continues to do is lead the way forward by popularizing certain standards that Apple believes push the market forward. PPW as a benchmark went against the PC-focus on Gigahertz Wars.

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