Apple to Extend ARM Alliance in Future Macbooks

4th February 2017 by in category IT Support Blog tagged as , , , , , with 0 and 10

Battery life of Macbooks a deciding factor in Apple’s ARM decision

A pre-ARM Intel Macbook. Image by Michael Barrow Photo (via Shutterstock).

Over time, the Intel Macbook could be a thing of the past. Image by Michael Barrow Photo (via Shutterstock).

“Take back control” has been a trope or cliche over the last year, given recent events of a non-computer nature. This week, we have learned that Apple are after “taking back control” of its hardware and software. This time with the continued alliance of a chip company founded in Cambridge: ARM.

Now in foreign hands, their chips have been used in the iPhone and countless other mobile devices. They also feature in the touch bar of Apple’s latest Macbooks. In the short term, ARM chips will augment Intel chips used in present systems. In the medium to long term, future Macs could be 100% ARM chipset machines, with a significant degree of input into its hardware and software architecture design. This clip (via Bloomberg) elaborates on the ARM alliance.

The notion of computers using custom chipsets is nothing new. When Commodore Business Machines bought MOS Technology in 1976, Chuck Peddle’s company was almost the in-house chip design company for Commodore. This led to the creation of Bob Yannes’ iconic SID chip for the Commodore 64 and custom chips for the Amiga range of computers.

Ironically, MOS’ 6502 processor formed part of the BBC Micro, built by Acorn Computers. They developed the Acorn RISC Machine in 1985 which led to today’s ARM chips. So, from little acorns grow Apple chips. Who’d have thought this could happen 32 years ago when Acorn Computers were in financial turmoil?

Tabard IT, 04 February 2017.

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