The processor M1(Apple Silicon) is exclusive to the Mac line, but because it is based on ARM architecture, fuels the expectation that this type of chip will succeed in PCs. Simon Segars, CEO of ARM, is very optimistic about this.
Not that ARM chips are new to PCs. Qualcomm, for example, has a chip of the type that was developed especially to equip Windows notebooks: the Snapdragon 8cx.
The main advantage of ARM-based computers is reduced battery consumption, a feature that can make a laptop have something close to 20 hours of battery life (or more). The problem is that applications adapted from x86 to ARM may still experience performance or compatibility issues.
Theoretically, Apple computers are not free from these problems. Last year, Qualcomm even declared that emulating old software on the Apple Silicon platform would be a challenge.
But, in practice, what we are seeing is the M1 chip showing great performance, in general. To run legacy software, Macs with this processor rely on a tool called Rosetta 2, which translates 32- or 64-bit applications to ARM.
For combining good battery life with satisfactory performance, Macs with M1 are experiencing significant demand in the market, a finding that made Simon Segars believe that this scenario can favor the market as a whole, not only the Apple ecosystem:
What we are starting to see is the real innovation happening in a market where there were not a lot of innovations.
Simon Segars, CEO of ARM
In part, the innovation cited by the executive is made possible by ARM’s own engineering efforts to bring its architecture to PCs. Nvidia, which will become owner of ARM if the deal is approved by regulators, is seen as another potential collaborator for this scenario.
This is not to say that in the long run, x86 chips will disappear from the market, but that they may have to share space with the ARM architecture. For Segars, we are just at the beginning of this reality.
It is not on a whim that AMD and Intel are moving me. For CES 2021, the first announced Ryzen 5000 processors with a promise of autonomy of up to 17h30min. Intel has already been working on Alder Lake chips, which will follow a hybrid proposal similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE technology.
With information: CNET.