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According to Apple speed and power saving is the advantage. I am on the fence if this will be a good thing or not. The good is they are not at the mercy of Intel for CPU updates and Apple has a ton of money and hopefully will be sinking a lot of it into CPU development. They are not new to processors so it is not entirely out of their wheel house. The down side is upgradeability. I think the only thing that would really effect would be the Mac Pro's and there is no word on Apple upgrading the entire line to their own chips. There will be some Intel processors in some machines still according to the WWDC keynote.

At this point I am not looking at upgrading my computers anytime soon as I have a few apps that are not 64 bit and my 5K iMac is still screaming along, so going to hold out as long as possible. 

 

 

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I am happy to know that the Serif team has pioneered the development of the suite on the iPads (with ARM) so I feel that there will be more interaction between the desktop and mobile version and better use of METAL which will ultimately bring better graphics processing

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Apple has never mentioned ARM. They've talked about Apple Silicon, consistently. The transition encompasses much more than simple moving to an ARM architecture. The WWDC Keynote and Platform State of the Union presentations provide more details (although not really a lot).


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My take on it is that it's less about performance improvements and more about locking their ecosystem down. Right now anyone can freely distribute software for MacOS, just as Serif does with their own store. I bet that will go out of the window when the new chips come along. They will require a digital signature in the software, and that will only be available for approved software from the App Store.

All in the name of security of course, no one at Apple cares about the cut they take :)

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Apple's switch to the Mac towards self-developed ARM processors has been rumored in the rumor mill for years. But what ultimately ultimately made the decision to really take this radical step was kept to itself.

A former Intel employee now speculates that the chip giant was not entirely innocent . François Piednoël, former processor engineer at Intel, told PC Gamer magazine that problems with the Skylake architecture in particular had annoyed Apple and ultimately led it to really take the ARM step.

Apple finds as many bugs as Intel

The insider claims that quality assurance at Skylake was "more than a problem" and the bugs were "abnormally bad". Nobody reported as many problems with the architecture "like our buddies at Apple". And if "a customer finds almost as many bugs with you as you do, it doesn't lead to the right place," said Piednoël, who was able to observe the situation three years ago before he left Intel himself.

Background: Every modern silicon chip has hundreds to thousands of errors, which would be uneconomical to fix at the hardware level. Manufacturers therefore deal with such bugs with microcode, which is loaded via the BIOS when booting. Apple optimizes its macOS operating system to the processors used, so that the company is more likely to notice problems than, for example, Microsoft.

The ex-Intel insider believes that such a "turning point" has developed where people at Apple who have been thinking about switching to ARM say, "Well, we probably have to do it." Piednoël thinks that poor quality assurance at Skylake was the drop that caused Apple's barrel to overflow. "[Skylake] is responsible for actually leaving the platform."

The barrel overflowed

Observers believe that macOS for ARM has been running in the laboratory for a long time - in fact iOS, which always ran under ARM, is based on macOS. In addition to Intel bugs such as those in the Skylake architecture, Apple is also likely to have motivated the company to want to control hardware and software more closely.

So far, the company always had to wait for new Macs for Intel to come around the corner with new chips - even if Apple was often preferred and supplied in advance. With its own A-SoCs, Apple now has complete control from the actual processor cores to the GPU.

Another rumor and maybe posiible reason for the transition.


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29 minutes ago, BofG said:

I bet that will go out of the window when the new chips come along. They will require a digital signature in the software, and that will only be available for approved software from the App Store.

So far, there's not a single indication that that's going to happen.

And, if that's what Apple has in mind, they could have done it long ago when they opened the app store. No need to wait for Apple Silicon.


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40 minutes ago, RNKLN said:

Apple has never mentioned ARM

Do they need to?  I thought using ARM architecture was implicit in Silicon?


AP user, running Win10

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23 minutes ago, RNKLN said:

So far, there's not a single indication that that's going to happen.

And, if that's what Apple has in mind, they could have done it long ago when they opened the app store. No need to wait for Apple Silicon.

I just think that they can spin it as a security feature of the new chips, a hardware trusted execution type thing, and it gives them a good opportunity - with the different architecture no existing x86 software will work. Imagine if a simple OS update locked you out of running all your non-app store software. That would go down well! But now? Well your software won't work anyway, and look over here at this lovely app store, why would you want to get your software from anywhere else?

Maybe it won't be a complete slamming of the door, but I believe they will do what they can to push things that way.

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IMHO this thread tends to discuss too much about fear and risks, and not enough about chances.

Having well received and running apps on the iPad gives Serif an edge in the coming "new" MacOS. I am o.k. with this !

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6 hours ago, RNKLN said:

Apple has never mentioned ARM.

FWIW, the company now known as ARM Holdings started life way back in 1990 as Advanced RISC Machines Ltd. It was a joint venture of three companies: Acorn, Apple, & VLSI.

Unlike Intel or AMD, the company doesn't make or sell any chips. Its primarily business is the design & license of ARM microarchitecture cores, which are used in billions of chips, most of which use 32 bit architectures. Around 2008 Apple stared developing its own A series chips beginning with the A6, apparently based on core designs free of ARM licenses.

My guess is this is why Apple prefers the term "Apple silicon" to "ARM" for chips that will power the new Macs.


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7 hours ago, BofG said:

My take on it is that it's less about performance improvements and more about locking their ecosystem down.

My take is it is primarily about computing power vs. the electrical power needed to provide it. Apple's A series chips outperform Intel chips by this measure, which means they can produce more computing power for the same or less amount of heat generated.

This in turn means A series powered Macs can use smaller, quieter cooling systems, extend battery life for portables, etc.


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On 6/27/2020 at 1:48 AM, R C-R said:

My take is it is primarily about computing power vs. the electrical power needed to provide it.

This is what Apple started with when they introduced the upcoming transition (see the image about Performance vs Power Consumption). However, they also showed in image discussing various other aspects of how Apple Silicon is different from off-the-shelf chips from Intel or other manufacturers. Many of the things in the end translate to performance gains or power consumption gains, but it is also about security and probably other things.

Two-year-timescale-for-transition-to-ARM.jpg

wwdc-2020-14.31.12-PM.png


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1 hour ago, v_kyr said:

From what I can glean from various online sources, for the most part Apple now licenses only the ARM instruction set architecture ("ISA") from ARM but design of the silicon itself is now all done in-house & thus is license free.

Does that sound about right?


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I would be very surprised if it's a "clean sheet" design from Apple. I would imagine it's based on an ARM design. These things are refined over many years to get to where they are.

The thing is Apple will always brand it as "their" chip, and ARM will have happily agreed an NDA so we will likely never know.

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23 minutes ago, BofG said:

I would be very surprised if it's a "clean sheet" design from Apple.

As I understand it, the only thing Apple currently licenses from ARM (at least for the A series chips) is the ISA abstraction. Apple itself designs the chips (the silicon) that this ISA runs on -- IOW, the physical implementation is uniquely Apple's.


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39 minutes ago, R C-R said:

From what I can glean from various online sources, for the most part Apple now licenses only the ARM instruction set architecture ("ISA") from ARM but design of the silicon itself is now all done in-house & thus is license free.

Does that sound about right?

Probably. - There are some older information postings which name some of the early relationships between Apple and ARM (like Softbank buys Apple’s processor ARM etc.).

I also recall that the Apple Newton I once had was ARM CPU based and those days used NewtonScript (aka derived from Dylan) as it's base programming language. Apple had long time before experiences with ARM CPUs, not just during iPhone/iPad/iWatch area.

 


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3 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

There are some older information postings which name some of the early relationships between Apple and ARM (like Softbank buys Apple’s processor ARM etc.).

The title of that article is misleading -- Apple never owned ARM Holdings so it could not sell it to anybody. The article itself is fine.


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Porting macOS software over to the new CPU architecture nowadays shouldn't be that difficult, since the LLVM & clang infrastructure already supports code generation for various ARM CPUs.

In the past things were quite different here, I recall from my back student times when together with a fellow student buddy porting the SunView (XView) system (all C code) over to the Acorn Archimedes (an ARM CPU based Unix workstation) and NeXT computers (Motorolla CPUs). That was those times a hard work due to the C compiler and CPU differences, for example the Sun C compiler for Sun RISC CPUs was able to reference C pointers automatically correctly, even those haven't been dereferenced correctly in the source code. On the target machines we ported over the compilers (cc/gcc) didn't had that ability to overcome with wrong pointers in C code, thus things cored there (on ARM & Motorolla platforms) during runtimes, until finding and fixing the pointer issues inside the whole damned big Sun source code.


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23 hours ago, BofG said:

I would be very surprised if it's a "clean sheet" design from Apple. I would imagine it's based on an ARM design. These things are refined over many years to get to where they are.

The thing is Apple will always brand it as "their" chip, and ARM will have happily agreed an NDA so we will likely never know.

Why would Apple be starting from scratch? They have been working on and making chips for years for the iPhone and iPad. They are not new to making their own processors. I think it would be a safe assumption these are just going to be a huge step up from those smaller CPU's as the power limitations are nowhere near as big. 

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On 6/26/2020 at 1:45 PM, Blende21 said:

IMHO this thread tends to discuss too much about fear and risks, and not enough about chances.

Having well received and running apps on the iPad gives Serif an edge in the coming "new" MacOS. I am o.k. with this !

How does this give Serif an edge on the new Mac OS? Their software is already on Mac OS obviously. I don't see any correlation on how this will change anything for Serif. 

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1 hour ago, wonderings said:

Why would Apple be starting from scratch? They have been working on and making chips for years for the iPhone and iPad. They are not new to making their own processors. I think it would be a safe assumption these are just going to be a huge step up from those smaller CPU's as the power limitations are nowhere near as big. 

I have to admit I'd not been keeping up, seems like they switched from designing just the SoC package to doing the whole thing around 2012.

I do still wonder though how they managed to "forget" all of the ARM design and truly make everything fresh. My suspicion is they have been making iterative and incremental steps away from the "known good" ARM design.

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2 hours ago, wonderings said:

How does this give Serif an edge on the new Mac OS? Their software is already on Mac OS obviously. I don't see any correlation on how this will change anything for Serif. 

The new ARM-based Macs will probably share the command set with the existing chips for iOS. The MacMini that Apple already delivers to developers runs on the same chip (A12Z) as the 2020 iPad Pro.

This means that all software libraries written for iOS will most likely run on the new MacOS as well. It is well known that the current Adobe apps for iOS suck, especially when compared to a fully functional app like AP for iPad. Adobe has to create it from scratch, after ignoring the iPad for a long time.

The only good app for iOS from Adobe IMHO is Ligthroom. But it tries as well to lock users in, so without an Adobe account and especially without a CC-subscription there are deficiencies. I quit using it, and had a hard time to export my pics from the LR app.

The wealth of existing software routines for the Axx-architecture is why I think Serif has a head start with the new ARM-Macs.

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