Forwarding Address: OS X

Monday, May 23, 2005

Intel Rumors

The rumors are all over the place this morning about Apple talking to Intel. Who wants to bet that instead of running on Intel chips they are in talking to Intel about manufacture their chips? Yes, yes...darwin runs on x86. I know that. I just don't see how a move to Intel chips could possibly help in the short or long term when you take into account binary incompatibly. What is Apple's biggest chip problem? Supply. Has been for quite some time... Update: Sanity prevails!


  • Old Motorola 68k code wouldn't be a problem; 68k emulation on Intel works well.

    PowerPC code could be trickier, especially if it uses Altivec. Macintouch links to a tool that might help convert PPC binaries to x86.

    Actively developed applications shouldn't be a problem, except for little spots where they use AlitiVec or PPC assembly. If developers are using AltiVec through APIs like CoreImage, CoreVideo, and Accelerate, that should make it easy for Apple to change the underlying implementation to something that uses x86 or the PPC, depending on what the machine is.

    Recompiling Cocoa apps for X86 should just be a matter of clicking some checkboxes in XCode. Similarly, by clicking some checkboxes in NeXT's IDE, you could build your app for four different CPU architectures at once. It could hardly have been easier.

    By Jon Hendry, at 3:54 PM  

  • Apple got tired of waiting around for video cards from ATI, and started supporting nVidia hardware.

    Why shouldn't Apple's view of CPUs be the same? Perhaps there's a bit more software work to do up front, but once it's working then they're not depending on a monopoly supplier.

    By Michael Z., at 8:32 AM  

  • Well, John Gruber lays it out better than I could. A "bit more" work is a gross understatement though.

    By Patrick, at 7:05 PM  

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