Apple silicon was announced in the Apple’s World Wide Developer’s conference (WWDC) 2020 that is going on right now. From now on, Apple will no longer be using intel based chips on their mac-book lineup and going with something in-house like very many other apple parts and products. With apple breaking up with intel and AMD knocking benchmarks and performance out of the parks with the new ryzen chips, intel’s market-share might go a bit dry this year round and presumably in the future. Anyways, what is this apple silicon and why you should be interested in it? let’s find out!
If you didn’t know already, Apple has always produced its own chips for their phones, the A-Bionic series. Performance of these chips have been awesome to say the least and has always been ahead of the android counterparts. In simple terms, the apple silicon is the same self-developed Ax chips that the company has been developing for years. These are ARM based architecture which will now be adapted to the MAC laptops and desktops. Apple says that its first ARM MAC will be shipped before the end of the year and complete the transfer to ARM from intels processors within the next two years.
Apple also announced that it is working on a family of SOCs to deploy across the MAC desktop and laptops. Apple Silicon will most probably bring in leading performance and performance-by-watt with its custom chip-set. The chip will combine custom CPU, GPU, SSD controller and many other components. One of the most exciting feature is added will be a neural engine included in the chip for machine learning applications.
With the new macOS Big Sur, Apple has already updated and optimized its native applications to the new ARM based chips. For third-party chips however, the developers may have to make adjustments to the way they use hardware resources. However, apple also claims that “most apps will just work”.
The central tool for porting a new version with the Xcode development environment which will be made available free of charge for developers. When compiling, the Xcode 12 now will create what is called a Universal 2 Apps which contain the code for both the intel and the Apple Silicon (ARM) processors. Apple seems to be asking the developers to take their word that the new ARM chips will “unlock a whole new level of performance” without providing us with any kind of reassurances or how that performance actually stacks up right now.
The performance of these new chips however is questionable. Usually when apple announces something, they claim to have the “fastest ever”, new generation talks. This time however, all those claims were missing which tells us something is different this time around. Those who were allowed to ask the developers questioned them in the matter but the company did not respond. Instead of answering, the company virtualized some canned demos and some vague promises that they may be faster in the future.
All in all, apple says that we should expect pure performance and not just efficiency. Apple says they have focused on graphical performance and writes that the Apple Silicon ARM initiative will also give macs “higher performance GPU’s” which includes additional horsepower for the games and also showed off some apps like Unity, Affinity Photos, Dirt:Rally among others which take advantage of Apple’s Metal Framework to fore instructions directly to the GPU.
Intel has been there in the valleysince the inception and leading the market in what they do since forever and it took very many years to reach where they have reached. Apple is an industry leader that provides quality products and is a reliable company-most of the times. They have had some missteps along the way namely the newton, Apple Maps among others. We’ll just have to wait and see if this Apple silicon will be among them or they will rock the industry by actually providing a great experience for the developers as well as the users.
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