New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBook

Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBook
By: Kevin G (kevin.delete@this.cubitdesigns.com), May 11, 2011 1:33 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
David Kanter (dkanter@realworldtech.com) on 5/10/11 wrote:
---------------------------
>Kevin G (kevin@cubitdesigns.com) on 5/10/11 wrote:
>---------------------------
>>A couple of typos and chronological issues:
>>
>>"Motorola eventually proved incapable of keeping up with the x86 ecosystem and
>>their last attempt was the 604e in the G4 line." Wouldn't >Motorola's G4 be the PowerPC 7400 or 7450?
>
>You're right. Time to fix that. I meant that the 604e was the last serious attempt.
>The 7400 was never really competitive.

It was upon first release. The problem was that the PowerPC 7400 was launched at 500 Mhz but all 500 Mhz chips were delayed 6 to 9 months after the launch. 550 Mhz was attained by the PPC 7410 but real clock speed improvements didn't happen until the PPC 7450.

The competition was involved in something interesting during this time period: the race to 1 Ghz. Both AMD and Intel wanted to be first to ship a consumer 1 Ghz chip and were willing to throw power consumption and yields out the window to hit it. So while the PPC 7400/7410 stagnated at ~500 Mhz for over a year, the competition was sky rocketing towards 1 Ghz.


>>Probably worth mentioning as a bit of an aside, Motorola did have a few other PowerPC
>>designs that Apple never used. The PowerPC 620 was supposed to usher in the 64
>>bit era but never reached any significant volumes beyond contractual obligations.
>>Motorola reportedly had a successor to the G4 ready for Apple but it would have
>>required them to move to RapidIO interconnects for the >chipset and this is something Apple did not want to do.
>
>Yeah, I think the real problem is that Motorola just couldn't keep up with Intel
>and AMD. IBM could, but didn't want to for a while.

I don't think that the issue was IBM. I suspect that if Apple wanted to use the POWER3 or POWER4, IBM would have sold those chips to Apple. The issue was that Apple wanted Altivec and those competitive chips lacked that ISA extension. It wasn't until the PowerPC 970 that IBM incorporated AltiVec and thus Apple had a chip they wanted to use.

>>The other issue worth noting about the rumor is that the prediction is several
>>years away. In 2013 I suspect that Intel will still be ahead of ARM in terms of
>>performance and for a traditional laptop it is difficult to see ARM catching up
>>here without sacrificing its power consumption edge. Rather this rumor may not
>>be about bringing ARM to an Apple laptop but rather about bringing full fledged
>>OS X to the iPad. While iOS would be preferred operating system, OS X would be
>>available as an option to boot into. Such an option wouldn't be about being fast
>>but 'good enough' to get some serious work done.
>
>That's a good theory as well, it's a shame I didn't think of that ahead of time.

This strategy would allow Apple to move their MacBook line to ARM at a later date on a whim if it would prove advantageous. Even if OS X on ARM is limited to the iPad, this could achieve the goal of pressuring Intel for better prices or cheaper custom parts.

Also I forgot to add, good article David.
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TopicPosted ByDate
New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/10 12:19 AM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookMark Christiansen2011/05/09 11:24 PM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookLouis Gerbarg2011/05/09 11:54 PM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBooknone2011/05/10 12:57 AM
    New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/10 01:18 AM
      New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBooknone2011/05/10 02:14 AM
        New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/10 02:19 AM
          New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookGoose2011/05/10 02:34 AM
          New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookRatherNotSay2011/05/10 06:25 AM
          ARM predication not so horriblePaul A. Clayton2011/05/10 08:05 AM
            ARM predication not so horriblenone2011/05/10 08:12 AM
              Partial update seems kind of oddPaul A. Clayton2011/05/10 08:29 AM
                Partial update seems kind of oddExophase2011/05/10 08:51 AM
                  Partial update seems kind of oddMichael S2011/05/10 12:56 PM
                    Partial update seems kind of oddMichael S2011/05/10 01:25 PM
                      Partial update seems kind of oddWilco2011/05/10 02:39 PM
                        Partial update seems kind of oddanonymous422011/05/10 07:09 PM
                          Partial update seems kind of oddrwessel2011/05/10 09:57 PM
                  Condition register usesPaul A. Clayton2011/05/10 05:56 PM
                  Partial update seems kind of oddMegol2011/05/11 01:06 AM
          New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookKevin G2011/05/11 01:21 AM
      New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookWilco2011/05/10 03:47 AM
        New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookMichael S2011/05/10 04:06 AM
          New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookWilco2011/05/10 04:25 AM
            New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookMichael S2011/05/10 05:13 AM
        Predication and OoOEExophase2011/05/10 08:34 AM
          Predication and OoOEWilco2011/05/10 03:46 PM
            Predication and OoOEExophase2011/05/11 07:51 AM
        ARM ISADavid Kanter2011/05/10 09:12 AM
          ARM ISAUngo2011/05/10 12:30 PM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookThibs2011/05/10 02:45 AM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookLlew2011/05/10 03:33 AM
    New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/10 09:34 AM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookKevin G2011/05/10 03:55 AM
    New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/10 10:07 AM
      New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookKevin G2011/05/11 01:33 AM
        New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/11 02:00 AM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBook ... The FACTS say otherwise !fabrice2011/05/10 04:07 AM
    New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBook ... The FACTS say otherwise !Rakesh Malik2011/05/11 03:03 PM
      New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBook ... The FACTS say otherwise !Richard Cownie2011/05/12 08:50 AM
        New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBook ... The FACTS say otherwise !Rakesh Malik2011/05/12 09:10 AM
    Hrmmmm...David Kanter2011/05/14 12:19 AM
  iPad-writer?Jouni Osmala2011/05/10 04:35 AM
    Laptops finally moving to touchscreen GUI?mpx2011/05/10 06:03 AM
  What about MS?Joe Kerr2011/05/10 06:26 AM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookRichard Cownie2011/05/10 06:41 AM
    Dual CPU makes more sense than dropping x86Mark Roulo2011/05/10 07:54 AM
      Dual CPU makes more sense than dropping x86Richard Cownie2011/05/10 09:02 AM
        Dual CPU makes more sense than dropping x86Mark Roulo2011/05/10 09:28 AM
          Dual CPU makes more sense than dropping x86Richard Cownie2011/05/10 09:55 AM
            Dual CPU makes more sense than dropping x86Wes Felter2011/05/10 11:20 AM
      Dual CPU makes more sense than dropping x86rwessel2011/05/10 11:01 AM
        Dual CPU makes more sense than dropping x86fabrice2011/05/10 12:02 PM
    New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/10 10:18 AM
      New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookRichard Cownie2011/05/10 12:10 PM
        Form factors and performanceDavid Kanter2011/05/10 12:39 PM
          Form factors and performanceRichard Cownie2011/05/10 05:25 PM
            Form factors and performanceLinus Torvalds2011/05/10 06:24 PM
              Form factors and performanceRichard cownie2011/05/11 02:12 AM
                Form factors and performanceRichard Cownie2011/05/11 03:44 AM
              Form factors and performanceGabriele Svelto2011/05/11 09:03 AM
                Form factors and performanceLinus Torvalds2011/05/11 10:16 AM
                  Form factors and performanceMark Christiansen2011/05/11 11:06 AM
                  Form factors and performanceRichard Cownie2011/05/11 12:36 PM
              Form factors and performanceDoug Siebert2011/05/11 10:19 AM
                Form factors and performanceRakesh Malik2011/05/11 03:36 PM
            Form factors and performanceFoo_2011/05/11 04:33 AM
              Form factors and performanceRichard Cownie2011/05/11 05:35 AM
              Form factors and performanceJoe Kerr2011/05/11 09:05 PM
    New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookUngo2011/05/10 01:33 PM
      New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookRichard Cownie2011/05/10 04:54 PM
  Maybe after Cortex A15 ?Nicolas2011/05/10 07:07 AM
    Maybe after Cortex A15 ?anonymous422011/05/10 11:01 AM
      Maybe after Cortex A15 ? Nicolas2011/05/11 01:34 PM
  One way for ARM to beat Inteletienne2011/05/10 04:38 PM
  Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?John H2011/05/16 08:14 PM
    Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?blah2011/05/17 08:02 PM
      Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?Brett2011/05/18 02:50 AM
        Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?Llew2011/05/18 03:43 AM
        Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?David Kanter2011/05/18 09:46 AM
          Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?Brett2011/05/18 11:43 AM
            Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?blah2011/05/18 08:01 PM
            Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?David Kanter2011/05/18 11:47 PM
              Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?Rob Thorpe2011/05/19 01:07 AM
                Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?blah2011/05/19 11:01 AM
                  Perhaps ARMed apple netbooks?Richard Cownie2011/05/19 11:48 AM
              iOS changes from OSXBrett2011/05/21 12:18 PM
                iOS changes from OSXBrett Davis2011/08/26 04:46 PM
              iOS changes from OSX Brett2011/06/03 10:50 AM
  New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookRobi52011/05/20 11:55 PM
    New Article: Why Apple Won’t ARM the MacBookDavid Kanter2011/05/21 01:36 PM
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