Intel to Begin Manufacturing 64-Bit ARM Chips in 2014

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Intel partner Altera announced at the ARM developers' conference yesterday that the world's largest semiconductor chip maker will start manufacturing 64-bit ARM chips beginning in 2014, reports Forbes. The move brings Intel's chipmaking prowess to the most popular architecture for mobile devices and could prove to make Intel a foundry option for Apple and its custom A-series chips for its iOS devices at some point in the future.
"It's huge. Imagine ARM's most powerful and technologically advanced 64-bits processor built on Intel's leading-edge fabs. A duo that will be hard to beat," explains Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. [...]

"Intel will build Apple's, Qualcomm's Snapdragon or the Nvidia Tegra for the right price. Now, the question is, are they ready to pay that premium and feed their direct competitor, except for Apple. But that would actually make business sense for everyone," adds Brookwood.
Apple notably signed a three-year deal in June with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) to produce A-series Chips for future iOS devices beginning in 2014, with the move seen as a part of Apple's strategy to move away from rival Samsung for component supplies. However, Samsung was soon after reported to have landed another deal to produce chips for Apple beginning with the A9 in 2015. According to a report in June, Samsung will also remain involved in next year's A8 chip family, with TSMC handling 60 to 70 percent of the manufacturing load and Samsung picking up the remainder.

Apple was also originally rumored in 2011 to be moving from Intel's x86 architecture to ARM processors in future laptops, with a report in November 2012 also stating that Apple was considering the switch from Intel chips. A closer look at the potential move determined that Apple's potential shift from x86 to ARM for Macs was not implausible, as Apple could theoretically push ARM's power efficient based chips to become more suitable for its line of desktops and notebooks. While purely speculative, Intel's move into ARM chips could make such transitions smoother in the future.

Article Link: Intel to Begin Manufacturing 64-Bit ARM Chips in 2014
 

osx11

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2011
825
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this is huge!

We haven't seen thin MacBooks yet. Just wait a couple years.
 

brewno

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2007
459
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Montreal, Canada
This means even smaller microchips, so iPhones will have more size for battery and this will also allow thinner and lighter iPhones. :p
 

DOSNET

macrumors member
Aug 21, 2013
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Don't see any reason for Apple to give Intel more control than they already have. Apple's current setup seems to be working well for them.
 

Anim

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
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Macclesfield, UK
Does this mean that the Apple platform, as a gaming machine (the only reason I still have a PC) moves even further backwards? Assuming here that most blockbuster game developers have been using Intel processors for years?
 

osx11

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2011
825
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Does this mean that the Apple platform, as a gaming machine (the only reason I still have a PC) moves even further backwards? Assuming here that most blockbuster game developers have been using Intel processors for years?
Does it matter? If you're already using a PC for gaming nothing will change for you.
 

sseaton1971

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2012
431
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Don't see any reason for Apple to give Intel more control than they already have. Apple's current setup seems to be working well for them.
I think it would be great to completely dump Samsung chips. Apple could then split the supply between Intel and TSMC.
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
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I believe Apple has enough chip talent and aquisitions under their belt to design their own SOC to move away from Intel's x86 chips.

The hard part is ensuring cross compatibility with existing apps (x86) on the ARM instruction set. Craig and his team have their work cut out for them, but I know they can do it.
 

Anim

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
614
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Macclesfield, UK
Does it matter? If you're already using a PC for gaming nothing will change for you.
Well yes but I would prefer (and assuming most would) that having a single machine, e.g. my Mac and use that for development and games is preferred.

Keeping both up to date costs a small fortune.
 

DOSNET

macrumors member
Aug 21, 2013
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I think it would be great to completely dump Samsung chips. Apple could then split the supply between Intel and TSMC.
A split supply would probably be ideal. Going all-in with Intel is always a bad idea, as Apple found out when Intel tried to shove the HD 2k down their throats.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
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Don't see any reason for Apple to give Intel more control than they already have. Apple's current setup seems to be working well for them.
It gives them an alternative to Samsung who has equal or better manufacturing capabilities. TSMC may or may not have the capacity for all of Apple's needs.
 

Redbeard25

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2003
146
6
This means...

this is huge!

We haven't seen thin MacBooks yet. Just wait a couple years.
iOS and OS X merge codebase in 2015. I'm calling it. Announcement at WWDC 2014. It's why the iWork apps are all getting lined up and why the 5S has a 64-bit proc.

"We decided not to introduce iOS 8 and OS X.10. We're introducing AppleOS 1."
 

osx11

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2011
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Well yes but I would prefer (and assuming most would) that having a single machine, e.g. my Mac and use that for development and games is preferred.

Keeping both up to date costs a small fortune.
Yeah apple is kind of funny in that regard. One the one hand they "can't wait to see what you'll do with their hardware" on the other hand they're increasingly focused on consumer software. I feel like apple doesn't really care about gamers and professionals.
 

osx11

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2011
825
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iOS and OS X merge codebase in 2015. I'm calling it. Announcement at WWDC 2014. It's why the iWork apps are all getting lined up and why the 5S has a 64-bit proc.
Things sure are lining up for such a merge. I don't think they'll combine them in the sense that iOS and Mac OS X become one, but I can imagine devices running both operation systems.

For instance. If they can double the iPhone's performance again, they could, performance wise, run OS X on iphone hardware. I think there are exciting times ahead.
 

sseaton1971

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2012
431
11
Does this mean that the Apple platform, as a gaming machine (the only reason I still have a PC) moves even further backwards? Assuming here that most blockbuster game developers have been using Intel processors for years?
If Apple decides to use an A-series chip in their OS X devices, they will likely be used in something like a MacBook Air at first. I could see some sort of device that competes with the Chromebook in terms of features and performance but not be so dependent on the cloud. It would be cool to have an entry level A-series based laptop running OS X that sells for $500 to $600.

I am sure Intel chips would still be used in the pro laptops and the all the desktops. The A series chip sure doesn't seem like a great choice for the Mac Pro for the foreseeable future! ;)
 

Macist

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Mar 13, 2009
782
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A couple of years ago I briefly talked with someone that worked for ARM. The only reason they don't make desktop and laptop class designs is because there are no customers for them but that if there were they could provide chips competitive in any segment and with lower power requirements. In other words, if someone was willing to put in a big enough order that it was worthwhile it could happen.

ARM have already been making beefy server-orientated designs. So looking at today's mobile ARM chips and saying they are not powerful enough for today's laptops and desktops is meaningless. Relatively soon they could be.
 

Anim

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
614
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Macclesfield, UK
I am sure Intel chips would still be used in the pro laptops and the all the desktops. The A series chip sure doesn't seem like a great choice for the Mac Pro for the foreseeable future! ;)
I hope you are right. I have had my fingers crossed for years that the Mac takes off as a gaming machine. The hardware these days is certainly capable.

If only Apple would start the ball rolling and give a measly billion to a big game studio to create a couple of exclusive mac only titles :D
 

rmwebs

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2007
3,140
0
Two thoughts.

The first is - FANTASTIC, Intel will continue making great chips, and hopefully ARM will eventually be as powerful as modern x86 chipsets.

The second was - NOOOO. Intel have dominated the desktop, mobile and server markets for way too long, and there's so little competition. I really wish AMD had got on the band wagon and done this in a bigger way than they did in 2012.

In a way I hope Apple don't use Intel ARM chips, and instead continue making their own. Apple have the potential to take on a massive amount of business if they start selling their chipsets to other mobile manufacturers.
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
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7,298
Two thoughts.

The first is - FANTASTIC, Intel will continue making great chips, and hopefully ARM will eventually be as powerful as modern x86 chipsets.

The second was - NOOOO. Intel have dominated the desktop, mobile and server markets for way too long, and there's so little competition. I really wish AMD had got on the band wagon and done this in a bigger way than they did in 2012.

In a way I hope Apple don't use Intel ARM chips, and instead continue making their own. Apple have the potential to take on a massive amount of business if they start selling their chipsets to other mobile manufacturers.
Intel isn't designing ARM chips, they're getting orders to start making them. There's a huge difference.
 

SPUY767

macrumors 68020
Jun 22, 2003
2,025
112
GA
This is just marketing.

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Two thoughts.

The first is - FANTASTIC, Intel will continue making great chips, and hopefully ARM will eventually be as powerful as modern x86 chipsets.

The second was - NOOOO. Intel have dominated the desktop, mobile and server markets for way too long, and there's so little competition. I really wish AMD had got on the band wagon and done this in a bigger way than they did in 2012.

In a way I hope Apple don't use Intel ARM chips, and instead continue making their own. Apple have the potential to take on a massive amount of business if they start selling their chipsets to other mobile manufacturers.
Intel is monetizing their fab capacity, not designing new ARM chips.