Apple is ditching Intel to build its own processors for its MacBook and iMac systems
Apple officially drops Intel. The announcement was made during the iPhone manufacturer's WWDC 2020 developer conference, at which Apple announced that it was using its own ARM-based processors instead of the Intel chips in its MacBook Pro and iMac computers with the new Big Sur operating system from Apple (AAPL) will use.
The change is expected to significantly improve the performance and battery life of Apple laptops and desktops and, according to CEO Tim Cook, will enable the company to better develop future functions.
Apple has already produced 10 generations of its ARM-based A-series chips for iPhone and iPad and has referred to the performance of the iPad Pro to prove that the new chips are suitable for high-performance apps such as video and photo editing programs.
According to Apple, the change will create a common architecture for the company's entire ecosystem of iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, and Mac, making it relatively easy for developers to deploy apps across these product lines.
According to Craig Federighi, head of Apple software, the company is already running some of its latest apps natively on the new silicon. Developers should be able to quickly transition their apps to the new hardware using Apple's Xcode software.
According to Apple, well-known developers like Microsoft and Adobe are already working on software that will run on the new processors. Federighi shows demos of Microsoft Office and Adobe Lightroom on a Mac with an A12z processor.
Final Cut Pro was also shown how 4K video runs on Apple's new chip, so Federighi can add special effects to a video project while it's running live.
Developers who cannot switch their existing apps to the new silicon using Xcode can use a new feature called Rosetta 2. This software allows Intel apps to run on the new chips by translating them to work with ARM architecture in their installation phase. According to Apple, Rosetta 2 can process professional apps with plug-ins. A demo showed how the game "The Shadow of the Tomb Raider" can be run on Apple's new hardware without any problems.
Apple's story with Intel
Apple started using Intel (INTC) chips in its systems in 2006 after deviating from its PowerPC architecture. The Intel chipsets have given the technology giant's computers a lot of power over the years, but Apple is striving to bring more components of its devices into the house to minimize dependency on external providers.
The challenge for Apple is to ensure that the new ARM chips can get or overtake the same amount of power from Intel-made chips. ARM chips are ideal for mobile devices due to their impressive energy efficiency, so that smartphones and tablets can be operated for hours without charging.
But performance has never been her strong point. Look no further than reviews of the latest Windows PCs running ARM-based processors. Although they have a long battery life, they lack speed and functionality compared to Intel-based systems.
However, after the look of the Apple demo, the company is well on the way to deploying some really powerful systems.
Cook says Apple will launch its new line of Macs and iMacs on proprietary hardware next year. The company still has some new Intel systems in the pipeline, but Cook says the company will switch completely to its new chips in the next two years.
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