editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Apple Hints at CPU Change

One of the many things to come out of Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) last week was an almost offhand discussion of something called Bitcode. It’s an intermediate software format, neither source code nor binary code. And its existence suggests that Apple is getting ready to change its microprocessor architecture. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Bitcode is not the first or only time that software companies have used intermediate formats to make apps hardware-independant. It’s not even the first time Apple has done it. But it does suggest that the Cupertino firm is about to make a change to its CPU architecture, its operating systems, or both. Rumors have floated for years that Apple might switch its Macs from x86 chips to ARM chips, and Bitcode would certainly ease that transition. It could also allow Apple to harmonize the operating systems on Mac and iDevices by allowing both to run the same apps (or at least, to use similar APIs). Apple is one of only a handful of companies to hold an “architectural license” to the ARM microprocessor architecture, meaning it can design its own ARM chps from scratch, not just incorporate ARM’s existing CPU cores. That could allow Apple to create special ARM-based chips with special accelerators, coprocessorss, or other unique features.

Because nearly all Apple software is distributed through the App Store, and not via CD-ROM, third-party downloads, or “side loading,” Apple is in a unique position to modify those apps before they’re installed. An app purchased for an iPad could be modified to suit its characteristics versus, say, a Mac or a Watch. If future iPads use a different processor than current models, the app could  be tweaked again, all at the time of purchase. Let the rumor mill grind on.

 

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jan 21, 2022
Here are a few teasers for what you'll find in this week's round-up of CFD news and notes. How AI can be trained to identify more objects than are in its learning dataset. Will GPUs really... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community si...
Jan 20, 2022
High performance computing continues to expand & evolve; our team shares their 2022 HPC predictions including new HPC applications and processor architectures. The post The Future of High-Performance Computing (HPC): Key Predictions for 2022 appeared first on From Silico...
Jan 20, 2022
As Josh Wardle famously said about his creation: "It's not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs ... It's just a game that's fun.'...

featured video

AI SoC Chats: Understanding Compute Needs for AI SoCs

Sponsored by Synopsys

Will your next system require high performance AI? Learn what the latest systems are using for computation, including AI math, floating point and dot product hardware, and processor IP.

Click here for more information about DesignWare IP for Amazing AI

featured paper

Enhancing PSAP Audio Performance and Power Efficiency in Hearables with Anti-Noise

Sponsored by Analog Devices

PSAP enhances user's listening experiences with hearables in challenging environments. Long delay in the audio system creates distortion known as comb effect in PSAP. This paper investigates the root cause of the comb effect and explains how a new anti-noise device yields a superior system performance compared to conventional PSAP solutions.

Click here to read more

featured chalk talk

Solutions for Heterogeneous Multicore

Sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries Software

Multicore processing is more popular than ever before but how do we take advantage of this new kind of processing? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Jeff Hancock from Siemens and Amelia Dalton investigate the challenges inherent in multicore processing, the benefits of hypervisors and multicore frameworks, and what you need to consider when choosing your next multicore processing solution.

Click here for more information about Multicore Enablement: Enabling today’s most advanced MPSoC systems