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Apple recently announced its plans to transition from Intel processors to its own custom-designed Apple Silicon chipsets for Mac computers. This move is being made as part of Apple’s strategy to bring innovation and performance gains to its products. The switch from Intel processors to Apple Silicon comes with numerous advantages that will improve the user experience and help set Apple’s products apart from the competition.
Mac transition to Apple silicon
The Mac transition to Apple silicon, announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook in his keynote address at the WWDC event in 2020, is a landmark step in the evolution of personal computing. Marking the third time change of central processing unit (CPU) instruction set architecture for the line of Mac computers, this move sees Mac machines transitioning from Intel’s x86-64 processors to Apple-designed systems on a chip with ARM64 architecture. This switch represents an important milestone for innovators, developers and audiences alike as it heralds a new era of elevated performance and portability assurance.
Apple plans to execute this transition over a period of two years and already made its first moves towards this migration with the launch of MakBook Air, Mac Mini and 13 Inch MacBook Pro delivering meaningfully improved power efficiency and up to 3x faster machine learning performance when compared to traditional Intel chipsets. The ARM chips development community has rallied behind Apple’s decision reinforcing the importance of common coding conventions through cross-platform programmability likewise allowing for mobile apps written for iOS and iPadOS to function properly on macOS devices leveraging the same hardware across an entire product fleet.
The history of the Apple Macintosh’s background stretches back to 1984 when the first Macintosh computers were based on Motorola 68000 architecture. From the early 1990s, Apple began evaluating different options and eventually switched to PowerPC microprocessors, a joint project between IBM and Motorola. This processor was used in Macs until 2005 when they decided to make another switch, this time to Intel 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors. Newer versions of macOS do not support 32-bit processors and Intel apps. The only computer models that are still supported by the latest versions of macOS are those that also employ 64-bit Intel systems.
This switch began in 1985 when Apple’s Advanced Technology Group spotted Acorn’s ARM architecture, setting off a period of exploration and experimentation from which the modern day Macintosh operating system emerged. This project laid the groundwork for the development of Macintosh OSes as a distinct product from their then parent company Apple Inc., setting them up as an integral part of modern computing culture today.
Why Apple Made the Switch
Apple’s move to use its own Apple-made silicon chip family instead of Intel ones has been seen as a major shakeup of the PC industry. By doing so, they are hoping to capitalize on the power and efficiency of their own custom-made processors, which are purported to offer superior performance and better battery life than similar machines running on Intel-based technology. Apple claims their chips will provide up to 21 hours of battery life – that’s double what users were getting from some prior-generation MacBooks powered by Intel chips.
These more advanced power management capabilities also allow for more energy-efficiency, meaning even if the machine is packing a lot of power it shouldn’t kill your battery life too quickly. On top of that, they market these new Macs as being powerful enough to do pretty much anything you can imagine with little compromise needed when compared to an equally spec’d Intel device. With increased customization through these new chips, Apple has given itself some room to innovate and bring users something unique with respect to its existing offerings and platform.
Apple Silicon Advantage
The switch to Apple Silicon represents a major advantage for Apple, as the company has years of experience with power-efficient chip design. Years of work on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch have contributed to its expertise with custom-made chips built specifically for Macs. With this expertise, Apple has been able to deliver better performance and efficiency than other options currently on the market. The custom technologies incorporated in its chips have also provided an opportunity for further boosts in capability that make Macs stand out from other computers.
Deep integration between software and hardware is something that the iPhones have become well-known for, and it is just as valid when it comes to the Macs powered by Apple Silicon. Custom chips allow for enhanced security with the inclusion of the Secure Enclave, as well as improved graphics capabilities for demanding applications or gaming needs. By tailoring these chips to their exact specification needs, Apple is able to push performance limits yet further with improved efficiency across all aspects of operation. It will be interesting to see what new heights are achieved once more benchmarks are available.
In conclusion, Apple decided to move from Intel to Apple Silicon in order to capitalize on the power and efficiency of their own custom-made processors, which are purported to offer superior performance and better battery life than similar machines running on Intel-based technology. The switch also allows for deep integration between software and hardware, enhanced security features with the inclusion of the Secure Enclave, improved graphics capabilities for demanding applications or gaming needs, as well as increased customization that enables Apple to bring users something unique with respect to its existing offerings and platform.
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