Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that Apple will release Arm-based MacBooks in the last quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021, 9to5Mac reported yesterday, and that MacBooks with an "all-new design" would debut later.
Kuo has beaten the Arm-on-Mac drum for a while. He said in February that he expected Apple to release the first Mac devices equipped with custom processors sometime in the next 18 months; now his predicted timeframe has narrowed.
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Not that Kuo's the only one expecting Apple to switch at least some of its Mac lineup to custom processors. Intel officials said the same in 2019, and on March 8 former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée said it would be possible, albeit quite difficult.
9to5Mac said Kuo's research note was light on other details. It's not clear if the first Arm-based Apple notebook is expected to be a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or another model entirely. Nor is it clear how many products will be Arm-ed.
Kuo didn't offer details about the MacBooks with an "all-new design," either, other than his prediction that they will debut in the Q2 or Q3 of 2021. But at least it seems like we might finally see an Arm-based Mac sooner than later.
You may be right that these appear first to air books, but very soon these will be Also pro books. Workstations may remain wintel prosessor mode, but not for long.
What x86 instructions are you referring to in particular? If you're talking about stuff like AVX, ARM has their own vector extensions too.
That couldn't be more wrong. The main differences are memory speed, and clock speed. The current design of the iPhone's CPU would already be pro speed, just running at 4ghz, having faster desktop memory, and double the cache. You can see this with the Amazon Graviton2, and Apple's ARM cores are already 40 percent faster than those ones (A76) and yet it is already equaling Intel and AMD.
People forget that Intel has to run their chips at lower and lower clocks the more cores you have in the chip. Some slight redesign to scale better with more cores (ram issues) and they'll be golden by September. No need to wait.
Whatx86 instructions? I am gonna say all of them. Programs that run on x86 make up at least 99.99% of the market on PC and PC Mac. It is gonna be pretty hard for Apple to try to replace that in a short time frame with their non x86 programs. Yes they may at some point do it but that is a long ways off. I am also sure Intel won't go away without a fight. Apple has to remember they can not push around a company like Intel like they have with so many others in the past. My opinion only if I'm right cool and if not I feel sorry for Apple fans because not only will they be locked into the little walled garden but also locked into a eco system that has no where to go because they will be on a platform that no body else is gonna be supporting for a long time.
This also isn't the first attempt at using ARM in a traditionally x86 role, e.g. Snapdragon 8c in laptops. Although they've all been pretty low power devices so far AFAIK.
This also isn't the first time Apple has changed ISA (powerPC to x86), and that worked out well for them. Admittedly that was probably an easier change for the industry to stomach, given that x86 was already the dominant PC architecture.