Apple to transition away from x86 by 2017?

Posted on Thursday, January 15 2015 @ 15:26 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Over the last couple of years there were whispers that Apple may be planning to replace the x86 processors in its Mac lineup and now these rumors are rekindled by Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI who believes Apple may decide to dump x86 over the next one to two years.

The analyst believes Apple is developing its own ARM-based chips and predicts these will be able to offer performance somewhere between Intel's Atom and Core i3 series:
The analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, believes the performance of Apple's chips will land "somewhere between Intel's Atom and Core i3 lines" in that time frame. That seems like a conservative estimate, since Apple's current-gen A8 is already fast enough to beat Bay Trail—and the A8X is even faster. I'm sure Apple will have silicon powerful enough to drive new MacBooks and iMacs by 2017.

Basing those systems on homebrewed silicon would give Apple greater control over "launch timing of the Mac line," Kuo believes, since the company would no longer be tied to Intel's product cycles.
While these rumors are making the rounds for some time now, we're not sure if this would be a smart move from Apple. The move from PowerPC to x86 made a lot of sense but a switch from x86 to an in-house ARM design doesn't seem like a good deal considering the lack of performance offered by the ARM platform and all compatibility headaches this would cause.

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