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  #21  
Old 06-23-2020, 11:31 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Macintosh moving to ARM

Big question: who's going to make the ARM chips? Near as I can research ARM doesn't actually make chips but licenses out the architecture to chip fab houses. Amongst others that have licenses for the 64 but chips are AMD and SiSilicon (which is Huawei). There's a few others that I don't remember that have chip licenses.
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  #22  
Old 06-23-2020, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Macintosh moving to ARM

TSMC


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  #23  
Old 06-23-2020, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: 2019 Mac Pro & Apple Moving To Its Own Processors

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Originally Posted by Michael Carnes View Post
There have been a lot of aftermarket options for the 5,1 cheesegrater, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing for the 7,1
Not to mention Trashcan. Now that we know you need to wait 2-3 years for the next one or buy the ridiculously overpriced New Cheesegrater, it is no surprise 2nd hand Trashcans go for premium price. There is TB2 and ability to run six 4K displays, and 128GB memory limit is not so bad for the coming years.
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  #24  
Old 06-23-2020, 11:56 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Macintosh moving to ARM

Same company that Apple partners with for their other Apple ARM based silicon. TSMC has rubbed Intel's face in it with their process success.

I've done one custom CPU/silicon related startup.. and TSMC was their fab partner. Super impressive. And we had a fantastic small silicon team that worked with TSMC... and some of those very competent folks are now at a company in Cupertino. Going to be fascinating to how this goes.
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  #25  
Old 06-23-2020, 11:57 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Macintosh moving to ARM

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TSMC


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Thanks.

TSMC = Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company - up for grabs is how much does China pressure the company? Unfortunately most chip production is from China
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  #26  
Old 06-23-2020, 12:08 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: 2019 Mac Pro & Apple Moving To Its Own Processors

I would be surprised if Apple replaces the motherhood for the tower. It's not the kind of thing they have ever done before. But dang it would be a nice move if they did.

Their silicon may not have the horsepower for a while to replace the high end Xeon configs so the Mac Pro might be among the last model to get ARM processors. But for a future mother board swap to be most helpful it seems that's the kind of thing to announce well before it's available and give folks still needing to purchasing the Mac Pro confidence to keep doing so. But the high-end part of their Mac business is such as small market for them it may just not be worth the hassle.

The Mac Pro type machines today have external non-Apple GPUs and lots and lots of PCIe lanes. And that early Apple silicon may not have support for that. It's unclear if Apple will support multi-die packaging of silicon, that would be a very neat move a-la AMD that would let them get to higher-end configs faster. That's packaging is one of the top things I'm curious about to see in actual silicon details.

And beyond PCIe bus support what is the situation with Thunderbolt? Until now everybody has relied on Intel for thunderbolt support. With Thunderbolt becoming part of USB4 hopefully it will be carried over... but there is no Apple ARM based products today that has Thunderbolt support. I very much doubt Apple would abandon Thunderbolt but I hope to see that transition be smooth.

Intel has dragged their feet with PCIe 4, waved PCIe5 as futureware, and has had so many other woes recently. It would be good to see a future "Mac Pro" class machine at least using PCIe4. But early Apple silicon might well stick with PCIe3 to leverage of existing capabilities.

And on the software side there's the question of graphics support already mentioned, and there is the question of OS/driver low level support. Just what backwards compatibility will Big Sur or whatever OS then be running on ARM give to driver developers let alone being on a different ARM processor. We are already seeing challenges caused by recent macOS security features causing Avid driver issues for example. I would expect Apple to continue to focus on security and privacy aspects of their OS. What if it is not possible to disable SIP? What if they enforce stricter store/signage requirements for drivers etc. No reason to assume that will happen, but it wouldn't surprise me. Anything requiring a driver, from any vendor today is something to pay attention to. This is going to be fascinating.
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  #27  
Old 06-23-2020, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: 2019 Mac Pro & Apple Moving To Its Own Processors

Apple will not be abandoning TB, the interim developer machine they are giving for developers is essentially same as current Mac Mini but with ARM processor. As soon as USB4 (with TB) is ready, things will be pretty much where Apple wants them to be.
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  #28  
Old 06-23-2020, 12:30 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: 2019 Mac Pro & Apple Moving To Its Own Processors

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Apple will not be abandoning TB, the interim developer machine they are giving for developers is essentially same as current Mac Mini but with ARM processor. As soon as USB4 (with TB) is ready, things will be pretty much where Apple wants them to be.

The only specs for the Transition kit I've seen, like this https://developer.apple.com/programs/universal say it has USB-C, Apple themselves pointedly do not say Thunderbolt-3. Even if there is full intent to support Thunderbolt 3 in future, it might well not be easily possible off the A13 silicon in that box. It might have Thunderbolt, but I would not assume that it is unless stated by Apple.
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  #29  
Old 06-23-2020, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: 2019 Mac Pro & Apple Moving To Its Own Processors

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The only specs for the Transition kit I've seen, like this https://developer.apple.com/programs/universal say it has USB-C, Apple themselves pointedly do not say Thunderbolt-3. It might be, but I would not assume that it is unless stated by Apple.
To each their own; I myself would say the connectors are TB3 unless otherwise mentioned.
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  #30  
Old 06-23-2020, 01:10 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: 2019 Mac Pro & Apple Moving To Its Own Processors

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To each their own; I myself would say the connectors are TB3 unless otherwise mentioned.
What you would say is not relevant, Apple typically specs current Thunderbolt ports as "Thunderbolt (USB-C)", this stands out as very different labeling, and not something I expect Apple to goof over and stir up unnecessary concern.

There are others out there noticing the apparent lack of Thunderbolt in this transition kit. (e.g. https://512pixels.net/2020/06/the-ma...-apple-silicon). But I take that as mostly a current practical issue, not a necessary reflection on long term plans. The concern is more what that could mean for early driver support for Thunderbolt peripherals.
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