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Thread: Apple's upcoming CPU-architecture change: ARM-based "Apple Silicon"

  1. Top | #21
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    MacBook Air M1 review: Windows laptops are so screwed
    ut are these new Macs really better than Intel-powered ones?

    1,000 percent yes!

    All of the hype about the 8-core M1 chip in the MacBook Air — up to 3.5x faster CPU and up to 5x faster GPU performance, and almost double the battery life compared to the previous-gen Intel MacBook Air — is real. I’ve been using the entry-level $999 MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage nonstop as my only computer for a week and it still doesn’t feel possible that a laptop this thin and this light is capable of all this power and battery life. It makes my 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel Core i5 and 16GB of RAM look like smoldering trash now.

    What Apple has achieved with the M1 is nothing short of groundbreaking. It pains me there’s still no touchscreen, there are only two USB-C ports, there’s no SD card slot, and I know I'm bound to run into some apps that don’t emulate well (or at all) with Rosetta 2 (macOS Big Sur’s x86 Intel app translator), but these are all trivial issues.

    The M1 MacBook Air (and M1 MacBook Pro) are now the best laptops regardless of operating system. They’re the new gold standard by which all laptops will be judged, and this is just the start. In a few years, we’ll look back and wonder how we ever tolerated laptops with anything less than this kind of performance.
    Let's see how the PeeCee world reacts to it.

    Microsoft is adding x64 emulation to Windows on ARM
    Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced that it’s working on an x64 emulation for Windows on ARM, which will pave the way for up-to-date versions of applications like the Adobe Creative Suite to finally work on the platform.

    “We will also expand support for running x64 apps, with x64 emulation starting to roll out to the Windows Insider Program in November,” Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay said in the announcement.
    Seems like M$ will have to do a lot of catching up.

    In Linux-land,
    PINEBOOK Pro | PINE64

    A Powerful, Metal and Open Source ARM 64-Bit Laptop for Work, School or Fun

    The Pinebook Pro is meant to deliver solid day-to-day Linux or *BSD experience and to be a compelling alternative to mid-ranged Chromebooks that people convert into Linux laptops. In contrast to most mid-ranged Chromebooks however, the Pinebook Pro comes with an IPS 1080p 14″ LCD panel, a premium magnesium alloy shell, 64/128GB of eMMC storage* (more on this later – see asterisk below), a 10,000 mAh capacity battery and the modularity / hackability that only an open source project can deliver – such as the unpopulated PCIe m.2 NVMe slot (an optional feature which requires an optional adapter). The USB-C port on the Pinebook Pro, apart from being able to transmit data and charge the unit, is also capable of digital video output up-to 4K at 60hz.

  2. Top | #22
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    ARM architecture and AArch64 - 64-bit extension of the ARM architecture

    ARM = Acorn RISC Machine, then Advanced RISC Machine

    It goes back to Acorn Archimedes (late 1980's) made by Acorn Computers

    ARM chips have been used in oodles of game consoles, PDA's, cellphones, tablets, and other such devices.

    The ARM architecture is classified as RISC because of several features. Reduced instruction set computer

    It has a load/store architecture, with instructions that only do loading from main memory and storing to it, and no other instructions doing those actions.

    It has limited or no support for misaligned memory accesses. Aligned: 16-bit on 2-byte boundaries, 32-bit on 4-byte boundaries, 64-bit on 8-byte boundaries.

    It has fixed-sized 32-bit-long instructions, though it has a Thumb mode where it can use 16-bit-long instructions to save memory.

    Its "register file" is 16 32-bit registers (32-bit versions) or 31 64-bit registers (64-bit versions)

    Some versions of ARM chips don't have hardcoded divide instructions, though all versions have hardcoded add, subtract, and multiply ones.

    So it looks like we are seeing RISC on the desktop again.

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