Apple To Say Goodbye To Intel At WWDC 2020?

in GEMS2 years ago

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Less than two weeks from now, Apple is going to host its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020. It is the first time that this event is going to be held completely online. How will it all look? We'll find out soon enough.

Apple usually reserves WWDC for software reveals. It typically goes over the next generation of iOS, macOS and more recently, iPadOS, tvOS and watchOS. So. Many. Oses.

Anyways, Apple is also known to launch new hardware updates at this conference. To me personally, this is the more exciting part of an Apple event. There is something about Apple's hardware design and quality that I just love.

This time around, in addition to the usual updates, Apple could be making its biggest announcement in quite some time. It could finally reveal that it is moving away from Intel.

It's Not You, It's Me

About 15 years ago, at WWDC 2005, Steve Jobs made an announcement that Apple is going to make a transition from PowerPC processors to Intel processors. Yes, Apple was using PowerPC processors before 2005.

Since then Apple and Intel have had a really good partnership. Intel has always been THE name that comes to mind whenever the word "processor" is uttered. It has become somewhat synonymous with the word microprocessor.

However, all that might be about to change. Apple might be finally ditching Intel for its own ARM-based microprocessors. The rumour mill is pretty sure that this is really going to happen.

Apple has been rumoured to move away from Intel for many, many years now. It is no secret that the A-series processors that it designs inhouse are some of the best in the business. According to many experts, Apple is 1-2 years ahead of everyone else in this regard.

In fact, Apple's A-series processors are so fast and powerful that they have begun to rival Intel's high-end processors geared towards laptops. Yes, a smartphone processor has started to rival a laptop one.

Maybe Intel isn't innovating fast enough for Apple. Or maybe Apple wants control over one of the most important components of its computers. No matter what the reason, Apple is definitely going to go in this direction sooner or later. And Mac users will reap huge benefits for the same!

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There have been rumors for a while that ARM-based CPUs may be coming to desktop and laptop computers. I just got a Raspberry Pi, and for anything not related to gaming or high-end applications, it seems more than adequate. Apple still uses a Unix-like kernel, if I am not mistaken, and the lower power consumption of ARM architecture is perfect for a lot of their consumer base.

Yes, ARM has been rumoured for many laptop and PC makers. I think Microsoft came up with an ARM-based Surfacebook recently. In just a couple of years, it will be much more advanced than Intel IMO.

Expectations need to be tempered. ARM has the advantage in efficiency, and is perfect for basic computing, but Intel/AMD have the raw horsepower for gaming and heavy data crunching. It may be possible to offload even more to a dedicated GPU, but it will be a long while before ARM can dominate. The Nintendo Switch uses an ARM processor though, so by the time the PS6 comes along in another 6-10 years, it may have grown to maturity to be the choice in multi-processor consoles and PCs. Who knows?

I didn't realize it could take almost a decade. Even then, the future the companies are betting on seems to be ARM.