Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips

Filed under
Mac

Apple has used IBM's PowerPC processors since 1994, but will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said. Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007, sources said.

The announcement is expected Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, at which Chief Executive Steve Jobs is giving the keynote speech. The conference would be an appropriate venue: Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor.

IBM, Intel and Apple declined to comment for this story.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Apple was considering switching to Intel, but many analysts were skeptical citing the difficulty and risk to Apple.

That skepticism remains. "If they actually do that, I will be surprised, amazed and concerned," said Insight 64 analyst Nathan Brookwood. "I don't know that Apple's market share can survive another architecture shift. Every time they do this, they lose more customers" and more software partners, he said.

Apple successfully navigated a switch in the 1990s from Motorola's 680x0 line of processors to the Power line jointly made by Motorola and IBM. That switch also required software to be revamped to take advantage of the new processors' performance, but emulation software permitted older programs to run on the new machines. (Motorola spinoff Freescale currently makes PowerPC processors for Apple notebooks and the Mac Mini.)

The relationship between Apple and IBM has been rocky at times. Apple openly criticized IBM for chip delivery problems, though Big Blue said it fixed the issue. More recent concerns, which helped spur the Intel deal, included tension between Apple's desire for a wide variety of PowerPC processors and IBM's concerns about the profitability of a low-volume business, according to one source familiar with the partnership.

Over the years, Apple has discussed potential deals with Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, chipmaker representatives have said.

One advantage Apple has this time: The open-source FreeBSD operating system, of which Mac OS X is a variant, already runs on x86 chips such as Intel's Pentium. And Jobs has said Mac OS X could easily run on x86 chips.

The move also raises questions about Apple's future computer strategy. One basic choice it has in the Intel-based PC realm is whether to permit its Mac OS X operating system to run on any company's computer or only its own.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Kernel Space: Graphics

Early Ubuntu 14.04 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Intel Xeon E5 Benchmarks

This morning I posted some Ubuntu 14.04 vs. 16.04 LTS Radeon graphics benchmarks while if open-source AMD graphics driver evolution doesn't get you excited, in this article are results from other non-graphics benchmarks in comparing the Ubuntu 14.04 vs. 16.04 performance for these long-term support releases in their current form. For getting an idea how the overall Ubuntu Linux performance has evolved over the past two years for those solely riding Long-Term Support releases, I compared the performance of Ubuntu 14.04.0 to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS in its current daily ISO form. The tests were done on the same Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3 (Haswell) system with MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard, 16GB of RAM, and AMD FirePro V7900 graphics. Read more Also: ‘Android OEMs Will Ship Ubuntu Phones This Year’, Say Canonical

Top Android apps for your Raspberry Pi

Mostly, our tutorials are about completing a specific project and reaching a particular goal. However, this time we’re doing something a bit different. We are showing you some Android apps that you can use along with your Ras Pi. These apps aren’t tied to particular projects – you can use them whenever and as often as you like – but we think they can add something to your whole experience with the Pi. Read more

These 3 things are trying to kill Linux containers

For nearly two years, Linux containers have dominated the world of enterprise IT, and for good reason — among others, they take on issues that virtualization simply cannot within application development and computing at scale and allow for the enterprise world to truly embrace concepts like devops and microservices (the Service Oriented Architecture dream from years gone by). That sound you hear is IT vendors stampeding towards the container bandwagon, but, as with every emerging tech trend, this isn’t always a good thing, as not everyone is walking the walk, regardless of what the business might actually say. Read more