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Apple may give us a 12-inch MacBook with an Arm-based processor

By Samuel Martinez June 12, 2020, 8:30 pm

It seems that Apple may go back to making 12-inch MacBook laptops. However, these new devices would arrive with Apple’s new Arm-based processors. Now, @choco_bit has shared his ideas on twitter on these new laptops.

Rumors suggest that Apple will soon stop using Intel processors in its future Macs and that these will be replaced by new Arm-based chips. Some are already expecting these changes to be announced on the next WWDC. Leaker @choco_bit believes that Apple will revive its 12-inch MacBook to introduce these new Arm-based chips. He also mentions that it may even arrive with a butterfly keyboard.


“There are rumors that Apple is still working internally to perfect the infamous Butterfly keyboard, and there are also signs that Apple is developing an A14x based processors with 8-12 cores designed specifically for use as the primary processor in a Mac. It makes sense that this model could see the return of the Butterfly keyboard, considering how thin and light it is intended to be, and using an A14x processor would make it will be a very capable, very portable machine, and should give customers a good taste of what is to come.”

He also mentions some of the advantages that these new processors may have over the ones from Intel. First of all, it would allow Apple to cut ties with Intel. They would also feature faster performance, reduced power consumption, and significant gains in graphics performance and apps using AI. But he also mentions the difficulties that Apple may have to endure when it transitions to these new Arm-based chips.

“- Developer will need to build both x86_64 and ARM version of their app – App Bundles have supported multiple-architecture binaries since the dawn of OS X and the PowerPC transition

– Move to apps being distributed in an architecture-independent manner, as they are on the App Store. There is some software changes that are suggestive of this, such as the new architecture in dyld3.

– An x86_64 instruction decoder in silicon – very unlikely due to the significant overhead this would create in the silicon design, and potential licensing issues. (ARM, being a RISC, “reduced instruction set”, has very few instructions; x86_64 has thousands)

– Server-side ahead-of-time transpilation (converting x86 code to equivalent ARM code) using Notarization submissions – Apple certainly has the compiler chops in the LLVM team to do something like this

– Outright emulation, similar to the approach that was taken in ARM releases of Windows, but received extremely poorly (limited to 32-bit apps, and very very slow)There could be other solutions in the works to fix this but I am not aware of any. This is just me speculating about some of the possibilities.”

Source MacRumors


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