As for the expansion of the size of Apple's semiconductor business, Nikkei has also mentioned the layout of many acquisitions over the years. For example, referring to the mention of apple in 2013, the acquisition of the Israeli 3D sensor company PrimeSense (andMicrosoft, which co developed Kinect, and the FaceShift company, which specializes in facial capture acquired in 2015, eventually evolved the technologyIPhoneOriginal camera system with excellent 3D perception technology on X".
In addition, Apple has designed a GPU graphics processing unit, quietly developed mobile modems, and control touch sensors, and a series of chips. There is no denying that the revolution in the smartphone industry has brought huge wealth to apple, which now has software as well as hardware capabilities, equivalent to computer systems integrators. This Nikkei claiming to be learned by the industry, in the future Apple no longer need Intel, because Apple will be through the ARM chip designed in Mac computer to replace the Intel processor.
There has been more than one discussion about Apple's Mac chip based on ARM, and since Nikkei is again lighting up expectations, we might as well come up with some of the problems.
What does the ARM processor mean for Mac?
As for this question, it is better to discuss the benefits of the Mac of ARM. First of all, talk about money, compared with Intel, ARM processor has a higher cost advantage, ARM core Mac will be easy to help apple, without sacrificing the gross profit margins, earn higher profits. Moreover, based on the ARM processor, apple can more easily create lighter, thinner, more portable, touch-screen, integrated biometric features notebook computer.
Now in the performance, the apple ARM processor becomes stronger, the latest release of A11 bionic chip, through the Geekbench fraction of understanding, in the CPU performance at more than ARM chips Android flagship smart mobile phone. Not only that, with 2017 13 inchesMacBookPro contrast, A11 scores A11 indeed comparable to the Kaby Lake architecture Core i5-7360U, single core approach, multi-core or even higher. Taking into account the A11 cheaper than Core i5-7360U cost, lower power consumption, this can create future apple than Intel version of thinner, lighter and cheaper based MacBook, which is ARM * * advantage of notebook computer.
In addition, another advantage of ARM is the core of MacBook security vulnerabilities, nearly two days about Intel core Mac computer UEFI, but the key is from Intel, so is the other Intel core computer, after all, UEFI has replaced the old BIOS system, but it exposed the initial startup code. Malware invades UEFI quite easily, and can't be corrected by operating systems, viruses, scans, or even hard drives or SSD erase. Apple usually fixes these vulnerabilities, but many Mac computers have not received patches.
A series of Apple's ARM processor are inherently more secure, designed to be less vulnerable to invasion, so this one integrated design of SoC system on chip, especially the embedded Secure Enclave security iOS septum, security equipment and the use of Touch ID and ID's face have benefited from this, based on the future A series ARM processor Mac computer also no exception.
In addition to enhancing security advantages, the ARM based Mac computer will also provide an excellent, advanced business model similar to iOS. IOS App Store is now an important source of revenue for Apple's service business. MacOS also has an app store, but it's not unique. Developers and users do not need to be like the iOS platform, and many macOS software is currently bypassing the installation. If ARM based Mac development, Apple will be able to request compatible software only in App Store exclusive release, but also can limit the use of third party API, and further implement the sandbox based mechanism.
In fact, ARM based Mac is impractical for more components
Again, many of the advantages of ARM based Mac mentioned above are still based on business considerations, but if they are technically considered, the results can be quite different.
From the start or the performance of hardware, Apple's ARM processor actually is not so strong as Intel, and rely on independent GPU graphics acceleration or graphics performance is very difficult to make a difference in the ARM platform. For example, depending on applications that rely on Intel advanced vector extension instruction sets, the alternative to ARM may be low performance. As for the application of independent GPU acceleration, Apple has no independent GPU scheme for complex or intensive tasks, including the game will be greatly affected, need a lot of rewriting in order to make full use of API graphics based on ARM developed by apple, such as Metal.
At the same time, apple can not easily copy the breadth of Intel chips. Currently Intel MacBook notebook computer product line provides the processor has a plurality of series, designed for MacBook Air and 13 inch MacBook Pro Y series processor, U series of services in MacBook, S series processor more powerful with the 15 inch MacBook Pro. And Apple releases only two processors each year, for standard versions of iPhone and for iPad, for example, we saw hungry A10X and A11 chips this year.
If Apple wants to build chips like Intel, you need every MacBook notebook computer product line customized versions, MacBook Pro MacBook, specifically Air and MacBook have different configurations of processors. Apple can not do it? At the moment, it's hard. Although the future is not impossible, Mac's annual sales are not worth it. So it's hard to balance the return on investment.
Besides the software aspect, now all published in the Mac App Store Mac application, simply can not completely be converted to the ARM platform, it has also mentioned that many x86 and ARM architecture, the gap is too big. And it's almost certain that many professional applications will never be converted. If Apple is forced to make large-scale conversions, it may face the risk of losing a lot of developer support.
Some might have thought that Apple could coexist with Intel and ARM versions of Mac at the same time. In fact, taking into account the ARM version of Mac and the current Mac ecological system completely different, apple not only must do two version of the system and equipment maintenance work, and consumers may also be completely different platform confused. To tell you the truth, apple is unlikely to touch the ARM version of Mac in any way, and the situation will only become very confusing.
IOS computers are more like Apple's vision
However, I believe you have noticed that apple is always saying, "iPad Pro is your next computer."". In other words, "iOS computers" such initiatives are not only feasible, but may be inevitable. To be honest, this should be the best decision right now, providing a clear choice for consumers, rather than confusing the boundaries between platforms. Apple has repeatedly propaganda is based on the advantages of ARM computer, and the default iOS is actually really based on the ARM core of Mac computer, Cook even more than once said, "with the iPad Pro no one wants to buy PC".
From a broader point of view, iOS platform is equivalent to a ARM chip based and more modern personal computing platform, more secure, more efficient, and has its own iOS application ecology. The key is, apple in the past many years to help iOS platform to integrate more macOS excellent features, and continue to professional expansion, and strive to make iOS become more attractive professional solutions. As you can see, iOS enhances multitasking, focuses on 64 bit applications, and provides a macOS like Dock interface in your system. All of this is far more meaningful than converting macOS to the ARM platform.
A lot of people will ask, what will ultimately be the final state of ARM's iOS platform, and will it take the place of the macOS computing platform? Apple, at least until today, has expressed that view. But has been developed, first in the software, with each version of the update, iOS may have more features and more similar characteristics with macOS, or together, Apple has been doing cross platform experience this thing.
As for the hardware, Apple's own A family of processors will certainly become more powerful, performance will be stronger than more Intel notebook processor, and even one day can rival desktop chips. Of course, this is a difficult task, take a very long period of time, although the ARM chip architecture has made good progress in the data center, but its performance is still not reflected to a mobile chip, this road is still very far away.
As a leading innovator in ARM chip design, Apple has a unique advantage and has been investing in ARM chip designs for years. Therefore, Apple will certainly continue to lead the ARM chip transformation, after all, in the current apple business empire, the ARM based iOS platform is more profitable than the Intel based macOS platform. Apple will continue to take advantage of the ARM platform's low cost, high energy efficiency and other features to achieve greater economic benefits.
In short, the ARM Mac is unlikely now
For the moment, iOS is still Apple's biggest platform, a dominant position, perhaps because of this, so far we will not see the Mac based ARM core devices. Although now speculation and news about ARM Mac again hit, but at this stage or in the future for a long period of time, such products are unlikely to appear in everyone's vision.
In the short term, Apple will continue to strengthen the functions of the iOS device, and with the perfect performance of its A series ARM processor, rather than trying to move to the ARM platform macOS platform hard, after all, it did not mean much, but can not guarantee the best user experience. In short, ideally, wait until the next day, Apple's computer will not be called "macOS" or "iOS", and perhaps the name is no longer important.