Tuesday, June 9th 2020

Apple to Announce its own Mac Processor at WWDC (Late June)

Apple is planning to launch its own high-performance processors designed for Macs at the 2020 WWDC, held in the week of 22 June, 2020. This would be the the first step among many toward the replacement of Intel processors and the x86 machine architecture from the Apple Mac ecosystem, in the same fashion as the company replaced PowerPC with x86 last decade. Apple has codenamed the process of graduating to the new machine architecture "Kalamata," and besides detailing the new processor and its architecture, the company could announce a large-scale developer support initiative to help Mac software vendors to transition to the new architecture in time for the first Macs with the new processors to roll out in 2021.

A Bloomberg report on the new processors states that the chips will be based on the "same technology" as the company's A-series SoCs for iOS devices, meaning that Apple will leverage the Arm machine architecture, and has probably developed a high performance CPU core that can match Intel's x64 cores in IPC and efficiency. Macs based on the new processors, will however run MacOS and not iOS, which means much of the clean-break transition woes between PPC and x86 Macs are bound to return, but probably better managed by software vendors. It also remains to be seen how Apple handles graphics. The company could scale up the Metal-optimized iGPU found in its A-series SoCs on its new Mac processor, while also giving them the platform I/O capability to support discrete graphics from companies such as AMD.
Source: Bloomberg
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79 Comments on Apple to Announce its own Mac Processor at WWDC (Late June)

#1
paille
Does that mean the hackintosh are dead?
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
paille
Does that mean the hackintosh are dead?
In the next 4-5 years, yes. Depends on how long Apple and software vendors plan to support x86 Macs.

Also, I'm kinda not convinced that even iMac Pro and Mac Pro will get Arm processors in 2021. Apple could kick x86 in a phased manner. Beginning with MacBooks and iMac, then MBPs, and finally Mac Pros and iMac Pros. We'll see.
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#3
Mats
As much as I don't care about what Apple is doing, this will be very interesting.
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#4
Nichotin
If this happens I hope they will be compatible with Windows 10 on ARM. Will hopefully boost the W10 ARM ecosystem significantly and make it a viable alternative for more use cases.

Also, it would be ironic if ARM based Macs were what made W10 ARM take off
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#5
windwhirl
Nichotin
If this happens I hope they will be compatible with Windows 10 on ARM. Will hopefully boost the W10 ARM ecosystem significantly and make it a viable alternative for more use cases.

Also, it would be ironic if ARM based Macs were what made W10 ARM take off
Or maybe Apple will lock everything up even more. They love to control everything.
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#6
Mats
windwhirl
Or maybe Apple will lock everything up even more. They love to control everything.
I'd be surprised if they didn't.
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#7
phanbuey
Yep... I saw this coming. People love to go "Noo! Never, X86 is too blah blah legacy software".

I bet these are pretty fast too.

Im sure that the emulators (parralels etc) will still work to run windows software for those people who use macs in corp environments.
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#8
1d10t
In another word , Apple found way to obstruct fixing and servicing and also (but not limited to) upgrading.
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#9
Dristun
I mean, port Final Cut and Photoshop, announce they're 3x faster on the new ~1200$ Macbook 12" replacement than on entry-level Air and you have a couple hundred thousands pre-orders immediately. For people who still to this day choose to do their videos and stuff on macbooks, and there are plenty, it will be a no-brainer.
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#10
laszlo
so intel will loose a customer and at least 5% market...
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#11
3rold
wow, less performance for more money! nice :nutkick:
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#12
fynxer
They will probably use Radeon IP like RDNA2 iGPU in their own cpu's.
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#13
Chrispy_
Moving away from PPC to x86 is the only thing that kept Apple alive - their software ecosystem was defecting to x86 rapidly as PPC was falling behind the performance curve.

I'm curious to see how this pans out, but I'm expecting the software market for Macs to either get dumbed down to iOS-grade products, or worse still - just shrink as many developers can't be bothered to rewrite their software from the ground up for a completely different architecture. They'll just continue to offer Windows, Linux, and Chrome support and make do with the 90% of the market that isn't using a Mac.
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#14
Darmok N Jalad
btarunr
In the next 4-5 years, yes. Depends on how long Apple and software vendors plan to support x86 Macs.

Also, I'm kinda not convinced that even iMac Pro and Mac Pro will get Arm processors in 2021. Apple could kick x86 in a phased manner. Beginning with MacBooks and iMac, then MBPs, and finally Mac Pros and iMac Pros. We'll see.
They just launched the new Mac Pro, which doesn’t appear to be light on engineering. I’d be surprised if they attempted to transition this product away from x86 so quickly, but maybe they have a parallel design going behind the scenes. They did introduce custom cards, like the Afterburner card, so maybe the new Mac Pro is designed to handle this transition. Those custom Vega GPUs couldn’t have been cheap either, so do we think they will dead-end them so quickly?
windwhirl
Or maybe Apple will lock everything up even more. They love to control everything.
It’s not as though this comes with no benefits to their users. Yes, Apple does like the vertically integrated system, one that I’d say is the simplest to implement and use. They created a system that is very seamless feeling when you are “all in” on Apple products. You can certainly argue that this comes at a cost, but it’s the means to get the levels of simplicity and convenience that they offer. For examples, their Photos/iCloud integration requires very few user steps to get full access to all content on all Apple devices, with easy local storage management, and it does so without clunky loading screens. The ability to get all your texts on whatever Apple device you are using is just as easy. Sure, their are limits and a certain lack of control, but for the person who doesn’t want to spend the time setting up the alternatives, Apple is for the way to go. Most of this is done for you when you setup a new device, and even that has gotten as simple as “hold your old device next to your new device to begin.” Once you start mixing companies, this just isn’t as easy. I’m not saying Apple is for everyone, but there is a reason that they have maintained their success over the years—the end user continues to see the benefits of sticking with them.
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#15
Dante Uchiha
Increases profit margin by 20%.
Increases autonomy by 45%.
Reduces performance by 200%.
Double the price.

Sounds Good, more expensive paperweights to feed the compulsive zombies consumers that apple created. :P
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#16
windwhirl
Dante Uchiha
Increases profit margin by 20%.
Increases autonomy by 45%.
Reduces performance by 200%.
Double the price.

Sounds Good, more expensive paperweights to feed the compulsive zombies consumers that apple created. :p
Let's not make that judgement until there is an actual device on the market.
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#18
Darmok N Jalad
I agree. They have shown that their mobile chips are very good. I am eager to see what they can do without the mobile power restrictions. Going from PPC to Intel wasn’t a performance regression, though you had to deal with software migration. Considering they are willing to sell A-powered iPads for $329, it’s also a reach to assume these will cost more. The chips Apple sources from Intel aren’t bargain priced, so I could see them charging the same as always, just getting more profit. If they can trickle down these new chips, they might even be able to sell the mini for a reasonable price again.
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#19
Dante Uchiha
windwhirl
Let's not make that judgement until there is an actual device on the market.
People think ARM is a big deal since recent SOCs/CPUs have IPC similar/superior to the best intel/AMD uArch, but this is a very specific test of anandtech.

In the real world, ARM is destroyed by the x86 duopoly: www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=epyc-vs-graviton2&num=8 EPYC just lost in tests so badly optimized that do not even recognize the SMT. :P
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#21
windwhirl
Dante Uchiha
People think ARM is a big deal since recent SOCs/CPUs have IPC similar/superior to the best intel/AMD uArch, but this is a very specific test of anandtech.

In the real world, ARM is destroyed by the x86 duopoly: www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=epyc-vs-graviton2&num=8 EPYC just lost in tests so badly optimized that do not even recognize the SMT. :p
We don't even know anything yet about what Apple is gonna bring to the table. For all we know, it could be the exact same SoC they have on the iPhone, just with no power/thermal restrictions, or something different. And the Graviton2 processor by Amazon whose benchmarks you linked there diverges from the reference platform by having lower clocks and half the L3 cache.

And then there is the fact that x86 software will have to be remade to work on those new Macs. We don't know what's Adobe's stance on this, we don't know what other developers will do, right now there is absolutely no precise information on what will they do and I don't even think there is information available about how well prepared they would be to port x86 code to ARM code.

So, I stand by what I said earlier, we can not say "it will be great" or "it will be shit" until the device is actually available and software with ARM target is made.
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#22
dicktracy
It’s about damn time. X86 progress is slow. Intel’s failure to conquer ARM with Atom in the last decade pretty much opened the gate to the x86 empire. Once ARM find a way to scale up, it’s over for Intel and AMD.
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#23
medi01
Dante Uchiha
Increases profit margin by 20%.
Increases autonomy by 45%.
Reduces performance by 200%.
This.

And, oh well, Apple users deserve that kind of treatment.
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#24
john_
QinX
I still don't get it, so please enlighten me.
It's a city in Greece. Calamata/Kalamata it is the same. Famous for it's olive oil.
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#25
medi01
dicktracy
Once ARM find a way to scale up, it’s over for Intel and AMD.
Once elephants learn how to fly, it's all over for the birds.
And I've even spotted a working prototype:

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