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Intel Corporation Message Board

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  • alexander.dumbass alexander.dumbass Nov 15, 2012 10:53 AM Flag

    Arm Inside

    Apple does not make these changes for small reasons. There is always risk and the Apple "maps" decision is the most recent example of something that appears simple but can go very wrong.

    Historically, the conversion from 68k to PowerPC was with the same vendor, Motorola. The motivation was driven by a substantial increase in performance of the PowerPC over the 68k.

    The conversion from the PowerPC to the x86 was pushed by the lack of investment by IBM in a low power PPC part and attraction to Intel for their commitment to investment. The conversion of MAC to ARM in 2014 will happen in an environment where Intel will make the power/performance/cost difference decision very tough for Apple.

    It would be stunning if Apple did not have ARM prototypes of all MAC flavors and have a good idea of what the issues are in converting MAC's to ARM. Apple has a couple thousand employees dedicated to designing and building their smartphone and tablet ARM products. Those semiconducter employee costs are added to the burdened cost of their ARM chips. The Apple executive leading that group of employees has been lobbying to supply ARM chips to their PC division for years.

    The most likely scenario (my thinking) would be that Apple will continue their x86 product lines but will probably introduce some type of "MAC OS" ARM product and blur the lines between the two product worlds. I doubt they will convert the line at once. The risk/reward ratio is just very high.

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    • I could be wrong... I think Apple has 7,000 engineers in the U.S. so the amount of people that you think they have assigned to ARM is overblown if my figure is right.

      I think INTC will be OK especially when you consider who is fabricating those ARM chips.

      • 1 Reply to trader_brad
      • PA Semi had 150 engineers in 2008 when Apple bought it and I thought I remebered reading where they had 1,300 employees total when purchased. I was referring to more than engineers. I was thinking of all the Apple employees that were incrementally needed for their ARM specific products over what would be needed to buy a component off the shelf.

    • "Apple has a couple thousand employees dedicated to designing and building their smartphone and tablet ARM products. Those semiconducter employee costs are added to the burdened cost of their ARM chips."

      INtel has thousands of employees too...

      "The most likely scenario "

      ARM64...

      "Apple will continue their x86 product lines but will probably introduce some type of "MAC OS" ARM product and blur the lines between the two product worlds. I doubt they will convert the line at once."

      How long did PowerPC stick around when they converted to x86...

      • 1 Reply to getanid61
      • "INtel has thousands of employees too..."

        OK. I am not sure how that affects the internal Apple employee overhead on their ARM CPU costs.


        "ARM64..."

        Maybe. We will know for sure when they announce it.

        "How long did PowerPC stick around when they converted to x86..."

        As long as Apple customers purchased it in sufficient quantities to make it worth while. When volumes became low enough Apple cut it off.

 
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