In 2005, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would transition Macs from PowerPC to Intel x86 processors. A decade and a half later, Apple looks ready to make another CPU shift that could prove to be far more significant in the future of technology.
We are now approaching the ideal conditions for Apple to introduce new Macs without x86 chips. It could be that Apple intends to release an entry level notebook with a beefy version of the A14X chips headed to future iPad Pros, potentially with a similarly scaled up Apple GPU.
It’s also possible that Apple could make an even bolder transition a new CPU chip architecture capable of delivering a bigger jump in processing power. We’ve already seen Apple’s efforts to build its own custom GPU—effectively a massively parallel processor tuned to doing the repetitive tasks common in rendering graphics—as well as deliver the new Neural Engine first introduced in the A12 Bionic, specifically tuned for AI processing.
Apple also just introduced a new Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), a custom chip that can be optimized for specific tasks. It will ship this on the Afterburner card for new Mac Pros, enabling its super fast Intel hardware with powerful GPUs to run dedicated software on yet another type of custom processing hardware.
These developments indicate that rather than just dropping out the Intel CPU for an ARM CPU, Apple could instead increasingly shift modern Macs into a mesh of custom silicon engines that each specialize in certain types of tasks.. If Apple were to develop its own significantly different new CPU architecture, that’s a move that could also be extended to iOS devices, resulting in a proprietary processor family running all of Apple’s devices. That could prove to be a major competitive advantage, and its a move we’ve already seen in Apple’s GPU and other custom silicon work.
MacDailyNews Take: Bring on the new Apple-powered Macs! The sooner, the better!
Apple has been, for years, building strength in the enterprise via BYOD and the rise of mobile which Apple ushered in with iPhone and iPad. “Compatibility with Windows” is not nearly as important today as it was even a few years ago… We expect to see Apple begin the ARM-based Mac transition with products like the MacBook and work their way up from there as the apps are brought over to ARM via Xcode and as the rest of the world continues to throw off the Microsoft Windows shackles into which they stupidly climbed so many years ago, lured, wrongly, solely by Windows PC sticker prices. – MacDailyNews, June 19, 2019