Saturday, 27 June 2020

Apple silicon: Apple Announces Mac Transition

Apple silicon
At WWDC 2020 Apple announced that it would transition to silicon. What this means is that within the next two years Apple will move its Mac product line from their current processor architecture to a new one. The new one being the one from Apple. More on Apple silicon in a minute...

So what is Apple Silicon by the way? 


No Apple does not plan on making it’s latest gadget out of silicon. Not yet anyways. Apple Silicon is the name given to a processor architecture that will now sit in Macs. This shift will take place within the next two years. Apple is bringing manufacture of the new processor architecture home. Basically the new Apple Silicon happens to be the old Ax chips that sit inside of many of our iPhones and iPads already.

The Ax chips have been designed by ARM but have since been adapted to sit inside an iPhone or iPad as the case maybe. The same chip going by different name now, Apple silicon, will now be placed in the mac. This will be done with improvements and other specifications to ensure that the Mac based on Apple silicon will not lag behind that of Macs with Intel chips inside them.

To illustrate the speediness of the mac based silicon, Apple ran Final Cut Pro and Adobe Lightroom on the computer without any hick ups. In fact the Mac based silicon worked impressively well. However in the midst of all the furor Apple did not release any benchmark standard for performance.

Will Switching to Apple Silicon be Good? With Apple silicon introduced, Apple will now have all hardware pertaining to all of its gadgets within their own control. This means that all production of all hardware is brought indoors. Apple will now have control over not only their hardware but can also ensure that any hardware they use is tailor made to the product that it sits inside.

So what happens to Intel’s Thunderbolt 3? That for now my friends is unclear. It’s not likely that Apple will license Thunderbolt 3 from Intel. They may in fact use USB 3 or come up with their own tech to replace it.

Will all Apps Work with Apple Silicon? 


The operating system as well as all Apple programs will run on Apple Silicon from day 1 onwards. There is also talk that Adobe is already working on converting its creative cloud and Microsoft Office’s shift to silicon is also in the works. With all this happening, it shows that Apple is dead serious about moving to silicon and Apple silicon is not just a new product for WWDC 2020.

What about Developers then? 


Developers will have to recompile existing programs based on a source code. What this means is that they will have to rewrite programs based on the new architecture. Once this is done the new version of the apps will have to be placed back in the app store. According to Apple this should make apps portable within a few days.

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