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  • ARM Processors to Replace Intel Chips on Future MacBook Models?


    A new rumor from SemiAccurate claims that Apple is now planning on moving the entire MacBook line away from Intel processors to ARM processors instead by the end of 2012 or early 2013. Apple appears to be waiting to make the switch until 64-bit variants becomes available. According to SemiAccurate, “Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible.”

    The current lineup of iOS devices now use a CPU based on the ARM architecture. Apple has made it clear that they intend to bring the best features from iOS to the desktop with the introduction of Lion, when it comes out this summer. It’s generally assumed that Apple is simply referring to software when discussing Lion, however, they may also be speaking of hardware features as well.

    “Apple can move to ARM without worrying about obsoleting code with an ISA that is on the verge of changing, and no memory overhead worries either. Basically, it looks like the perfect time.”

    All MacBook models are simply portable electronic devices at heart. Moving to ARM based processors, would give Apple the freedom to focus on a more unified product line, at least under the hood. If MacBooks and iOS devices use similar CPU designs, then Apple would be able to blur the line even further between product lines. This might even be a benefit to the average user as well.

    It’s also being reported that Intel has shown an interest in developing mobile chips for devices like Apple’s iPad. Competition between Intel and ARM may lead to even better chip designs as the two companies try to outdo each other. This would give Apple the freedom to choose the very best CPU’s available once the dust settles.

    If this all sounds highly unlikely to you, then just remember, there was a time not too long ago when an Apple computer with an Intel processor would have been unthinkable. Now it’s the norm. Apple always plans a step or two ahead of the competition. This time next year we may all be drooling over the latest MacBook Pro models powered by ARM processors. You never know, stranger things have happened.

    Source: SemiAccurate
    This article was originally published in forum thread: ARM Processors to Replace Intel Chips on Future MacBook Models? started by Wiley John Wright View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      For those (myself included) who use Parallels, do ARM chips support Virtualization?
    1. dale2's Avatar
      dale2 -
      who ever said anything about ARM processors in desktop computers?
      you claim apple will stop supporting intel code in future OS's, but wouldn't they need to put ARM processors in the iMac and Mac Pro as well? ARM is a mobile architecture atm meant for low power applications where battery life is a factor.
      one thing bugging me though, what about graphics cards? are ARM compatible graphics chips up to the task of powering the latest MacBook Pro?
    1. wop140's Avatar
      wop140 -
      it wont happen, apple will use intel processors for atleast the next 3 years they wont use the arm processor its just people talkin poo
    1. staterunner180's Avatar
      staterunner180 -
      I highly doubt it. Intel is making all the advances in the processor community. They just found out that they can make 3D chips, i.e. not only on the x and y axises, but the z axis as well. So they will have even more area for processing. Plus, I don't think MOBILE chips have enough processing power to fuel a MacBook Pro. Maybe they would work for the Air, but they just don't have enough juice for the higher end notebooks. One person said that by 2013 maybe ARM will have 8 core processors. They just might, but what advances will Intel have made by 2013? By Moore's Law, more than you can imagine. Also is the problem of fragmenting the Mac line-up. Mobile devices have ARM, and desktop devices have Intel. If just the laptops get ARM, then where will that leave the iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro? In a category all by themselves? No, Apple doesn't work that way. It simply doesn't make sense.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      God, I hope this doesn't happen.