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Apple reportedly working on new ARM chip for its MacBooks to improve the laptops' battery...

By midian182 ยท 5 replies
Feb 2, 2017
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  1. Talk of Apple replacing Intel’s chips in favor of ARM-based processors in its computers has been around for years, and while that scenario is still a long way off – assuming it ever does happen – Bloomberg reports that the Cupertino company has taken its first steps down the path toward independence from Intel.

    Citing people familiar with the matter, the publication said that Apple is designing a new chip for future MacBooks that “would take on more of the functionality currently handled by Intel." The ARM-based processor, codenamed T310, wouldn’t take the place of Intel’s technology, but is designed to sit alongside it and be primarily used during the laptop’s low-power mode.

    The MacBook’s “Power Nap” setting allows the computer to perform activities while it’s asleep, such as receive emails, update calendars, and download software updates. While the current Intel chips use only tiny amounts of power during this mode, a super-efficient ARM chip could use even less and theoretically boost the laptop’s battery life. It would also be used for other systems, including storage and wireless components.

    Apple already uses ARM chips in its latest line of MacBook Pros. The firm’s T1 chip handles the new Touch Bars and houses a secure enclave for the Touch ID scanners.

    While Bloomberg notes that Apple has "no near-term plans to completely abandon Intel chips," the T310 could set the long-term plan in motion, and ultimately lead to Apple using its own A-series chips in MacBooks, like it has done with iPhones and iPads since 2010.

    The T130 chip will reportedly arrive as part of the MacBook Pro refresh later this year. The market has already reacted to the news, with Intel shares falling one percent while Apple’s rose 6.1 percent.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    An extra 5 minute longer battery life doesn't sound like much of a big deal to me if current Intel chips only sip miniscule amounts of power while a computer is taking 40 winks.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Greg S

    Greg S TS Evangelist Posts: 1,607   +443

    Apple is going to have one heck of a time then attracting software vendors to re-compile all their programs for ARM architecture.
     
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,587   +1,797

    they'll just force it, like the PPC>X86 move. Recompile or dont sell software, your choice.
     
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,529   +1,987

    It's not really how things work. The reason why apple still sells macbooks is because there are many that prefer to do coding on them (companies buy them often). Unless they offer perfect compatibility, nobody is going to wait for updates, they'll either just not buy it, use the older ones or move to windows/linux.
    Hopefully they don't screw up the performance of the programming tools. The fast application builds are a big plus that Apple should never destroy.
     
  6. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 621   +399

    Are you kidding? Nobody prefers to do any type of "coding" on a Macbook. Not even Wordpress "coding" is acceptable on a toy computer with no real tools in place. Next you're going to tell us that people still use Macs for graphics, I suppose? ;)
     

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