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Marzipan as a path to ARM-based Macs
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-06-26 23:36:27

Apple has dropped legacy frameworks very easily in the past though. But how exactly did that happen?

CPU changes. Once when MacOS went from PPC to Intel, and then once when MacOS went from 32 bit to 64 bit. Each time that transition happened Apple was able to say "OK, this legacy stuff just isn't going to be there on the new architecture". And since you had to recompile apps anyway to make them run on the new architecture, developers kind of shrugged and said "Well, yea. That's what I would have done too". It made sense.

So are we about to see 128 bit Intel processors anytime soon, to facilitate this change? I doubt it.

OK then, what about a new architecture?

Oh. Hello 64 bit ARM.

The Macintosh platform is going to transition to Apple's own ARM64 architecture over the coming years. The most succinct explanation as to why comes from Steven Troughton-Smith:

Opening ARM-based Macs to the iOS ecosystem to make one unified Apple platform, knowing what we know about Marzipan, makes so much sense that it becomes difficult to imagine it any other way. Apple finds itself completely unable to build the computers it wants to build with Intel.

Windows has already made the move to ARM, and macOS will be joining it over the coming years. There is a major architectural shift happening in desktop computing, and there are quite a few companies who have to worry about their long-term bottom line: Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA.

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