In a shocking announcement, Apple has announced plans to use Intel microprocessors across its product line this time next year. Apple previewed a version of Mac OS X Tiger running on an Intel-based Mac at the Worldwide Developer Conference today.
Is this the end of the PowerPC? It’s been 10 years, which has seen the likes of the 66Mhz PowerPC 601-based processor grow into the 2.7Ghz G5 supercomputer chip it is now. On a not-so-positive note, however, IBM has been struggling to churn out faster speeds in any significant numbers. The promise of 3Ghz last summer was not fulfilled, much to the dismay of the Mac market.
It will be interesting to see how this will affect Apple in the industry. No doubt having the world’s largest chip maker as your supplier should assure consistent and reliable supply of chips.
What would this mean? A rewrite of Apple’s crown jewels to efficiently run x86 code natively? To license out the Mac OS to 3rd party, as in the Dark Days of Apple circa ’93-’97? Would this also mean we can upgrade processors and components, as would our Wintel counterparts? Even cheaper Macs? Big question is – will this backfire?
Apple did not announce the demise of the PowerPC, nor any plans to sever ties with IBM as a chip supplier, in fact actually made available the Developer Transition Kit consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which can run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.
I can just picture a Apple commercial now. Ending with the famous Intel jingle. Think Different. Intel Inside.
This is scary, almost blasphemous!
Thanks for the post, Bryan
Full reading here:
Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006