By Kevin Krewell, EETimes (June 24, 2020)
After two years of rumors, at this year’s (virtual) World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple finally announced that it was going to migrate all its Mac products from Intel processors to the company’s own Arm-based silicon. It is expected that Apple Mac products based on a future version of its upcoming A14 system-on-chip (SoC) will be similar to the A14 for the iPhone and iPads but optimized for higher thermal limits offered in Mac products. Through out the WWDC presentation, Apple called the new processors “Apple Silicon” and never mentioned the Arm instruction set used by its A series of processors.
From a hardware perspective, Apple probably could have made the move sooner, as its iPad processors were shown to be roughly comparable to older Intel Core i5 processors. Apple took the extra time to make sure it had a smooth transition story and it provided support for all the legacy software running on the macOS with Rosetta 2 emulation technology. To get developers started, Apple is offering them a Mac Mini with an A12Z processor and the beta version of the macOS Big Sur operating system that will support the new Apple processors.
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