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Solved! ARM Apple High-End CPU - Intel replacement

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Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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Couldn't you build Dolphin/Qt natively on your WoA machine? Lack of tools? Lack of memory? Not powerful enough?
I have the 16Gbyte RAM version, so it is working nicely for development. However it is setup for development under Linux not under Windows. So when i target Windows i typically cross-compile. I do have a native Windows debugger on the machine itself but again i typically using remote debug via Visual Studio.

As far as I am concerned this little sentence in the Dolphin blog entry is enough to disqualify the device at the moment:

I don't care about Windows, I want to run Linux natively on the machine.

I wonder if Samsung Book S will be better (though it seems limited to 8 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD which is too small for me).
For my purposes WSL2 is totally sufficient as far as Linux is concerned. I guess it depends on what you are planning to do under Linux. It is for instance not ideal for gaming since it lacks a native GPU driver.
 

DisEnchantment

Senior member
Mar 3, 2017
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I have the 16Gbyte RAM version, so it is working nicely for development. However it is setup for development under Linux not under Windows. So when i target Windows i typically cross-compile. I do have a native Windows debugger on the machine itself but again i typically using remote debug via Visual Studio.
I see. I agree it is a bit more work on Windows.

Linux users in this regards have it a lot easier to target arm64 or any other arch for that matter from amd64/Linux.
I usually do one of these for cross compiling on Linux.
- Firing up QEMU and emulating A57 or A72 with cloud Ubuntu iso is a breeze using Linaro firmware. This is useful for a complete system emulation
- use QEMU static multiarch docker images, https://github.com/multiarch/qemu-user-static. Fairly quick for cross compiling. docker run arm64v8/debian then apt install. Thats it.
- If you have Azure subscription with premium SKUs, so you can fire up a VM on Qualcomm HW. Might not be available on all Geos.

QEMU for WoA is being done before though. So you can go that route if you are not afraid of tinkering.

Android Studio for Windows is also QEMU based.

For my purposes WSL2 is totally sufficient as far as Linux is concerned. I guess it depends on what you are planning to do under Linux. It is for instance not ideal for gaming since it lacks a native GPU driver.
Stretching the conversation a bit here :p , Linux does have a driver. But it is splitted into Kernel space driver and Userland framework (Mesa). Intel and AMD are very active in upstreaming GPU drivers. Valve is also a very big contributor. For AMD HW it is the AMDGPU and AMDKFD kernel space driver which provides the DRI and the userland is the RadeonSI, RADV (Vulkan) , AMDVLK (Vulkan). Similarly Intel also have both userland and kernel space drivers.

Steam runs on Linux so I play some games on Linux. Though not as much games as on Windows are available though. So I go to Windows time to time :)
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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QEMU for WoA is being done before though. So you can go that route if you are not afraid of tinkering.
I am using this for running Windows for ARM on my Raspberry Pi 4 - namely QEMU/KVM along with a UEFI from Linaro.

So i have both, on my Surface Pro X running native Windows and Linux in VM, while on my Raspi 4 it is Linux native and Windows in VM :)

Stretching the conversation a bit here :p , Linux does have a driver. But it is splitted into Kernel space driver and Userland framework (Mesa). Intel and AMD are very active in upstreaming GPU drivers. Valve is also a very big contributor. For AMD HW it is the AMDGPU and AMDKFD kernel space driver which provides the DRI and the userland is the RadeonSI, RADV (Vulkan) , AMDVLK (Vulkan). Similarly Intel also have both userland and kernel space drivers.

Steam runs on Linux so I play some games on Linux. Though not as much games as on Windows are available though. So I go to Windows time to time :)
I should have been more specific. There is currently no way that a Linux Kernel Driver can access the GPU hardware under WSL2/HyperV - even if that driver exists.
 
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ksec

Senior member
Mar 5, 2010
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A former Apple Inc. chip executive sued for allegedly betraying the iPhone maker by launching a startup and poaching its employees accused the technology giant of doing the same to him.



Gerard Williams III, who last year left his job as lead chip architect at Apple and co-founded Nuvia Inc., fired back with his own claims against his former employer. He says Apple tried to stop his firm from hiring its engineers while simultaneously recruiting staff from Nuvia.



Apple’s lawsuit is designed to “suffocate the creation of new technologies and solutions by a new business, and to diminish the freedom of entrepreneurs to seek out more fulfilling work,” according to a filing by Williams late Thursday in state court in San Jose, California.



In January, Williams failed to persuade a judge to dismiss Apple’s complaint accusing him of using company resources to create an idea for Nuvia in violation of a contract. The Cupertino, California-based company declined to comment on Williams’s latest filing, which couldn’t immediately be confirmed in court records though it was verified by a Nuvia spokesman.



Read More: Apple Gains Footing in Court Feud With Ex-Executive Turned Rival

Nuvia is developing a chip to power cloud servers. Williams, who spent nearly a decade at Apple, says he raised the possibility of developing such technology years ago, but the idea was rejected by then-Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, and by Johny Srouji, who’s now Apple’s head of hardware technology, because they thought it would detract from the company’s work on consumer facing technology. Apple continues to hold that position today, according to Williams.


After Nuvia launched, Apple’s Vice President of Silicon Engineering Sribalan Santhanam warned of “consequences” if the startup continued hiring Apple engineers, according to Williams. He also alleges the iPhone maker monitored his conversations with Apple employees and that its human resources department used a “heavy-handed campaign” to keep staff from talking to him.

Williams claims he’s maintained the appropriate distance with his former employer and colleagues since leaving. Williams said Apple’s Anand Shimpi sent him numerous texts after Williams left the company, including material marked “Apple Confidential” in an April conversation. Williams said he told Shimpi this was “inappropriate and unwelcome,” according to the filing. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a query about Shimpi.

Williams says Apple went to great lengths to keep him from leaving, including an offer from Srouji for a six-month paid sabbatical to stay. At a going-away party, the company gave Williams a one-off iPad engraved with signatures from top Apple executives, according to the filing.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Williams III, 19-cv-352866, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County (San Jose).
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
14,607
3,584
136
@ksec


Looks like Anand was trying to help the guy out, maybe? But it's making things harder for Wiliams in court. Oh Anand, what have you gotten yourself into here?
 

DisEnchantment

Senior member
Mar 3, 2017
359
474
106
We had a successful startup enterpreneur in our company to lecture about how giant companies can adapt to changes to face off nimble and much smaller competitors.
One of the things he said about startups is that successful startups dont compete with the incumbents in the same sphere with similar technologies. Chances of success are quite low.
They do something new because, contrary to popular perception, there is no competition, chances of attracting litigations are lesser, customers are more willing to explore new things rather than switch vendors for their current products, and innovations are not constrained by how the incumbents shape the technological landscape.

Nuvia face similar challenges.

ARM HW vendors are so many. Big cloud guys Amazon, Google etc are exploring their own Arm based solutions. China developing several new homegrown designs
They need an ecosystem too besides the HW.
It will be interesting how they plan on achieving the ''significant double digit percentage gains compared to current architectures".
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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We dont know what was sent yet. But this is surely some interesting news.
Indeed! Just seeing Anand's name in there threw me for a loop. I had forgotten he still worked for Apple. Don't think he was at all involved in their hardware division though. Could be that I was wrong.
 

ksec

Senior member
Mar 5, 2010
389
84
101
Indeed! Just seeing Anand's name in there threw me for a loop. I had forgotten he still worked for Apple. Don't think he was at all involved in their hardware division though. Could be that I was wrong.
He works directly under Phill, so I think he will have his hand on many many things.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
14,607
3,584
136
He works directly under Phill, so I think he will have his hand on many many things.
Hmmm.

I read some rumours that he was involved in scouting competition, so to speak. Keeping an eye on tech/software developments of other companies.

And if that were true, I guess one of his jobs would be to keep an eye on Nuvia . . .
 

Richie Rich

Senior member
Jul 28, 2019
271
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Another rumor about MacBook on ARM. Probably during first half of 2021.
This late could mean different silicon than the A14X for iPads. 8-core CPU for laptop becomes standard so Apple might want 8 big cores with 8 small cores. IMO die area probably around 200mm2 at 5nm, pretty large but still feasible.

 

Doug S

Member
Feb 8, 2020
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Another rumor about MacBook on ARM. Probably during first half of 2021.
This late could mean different silicon than the A14X for iPads. 8-core CPU for laptop becomes standard so Apple might want 8 big cores with 8 small cores. IMO die area probably around 200mm2 at 5nm, pretty large but still feasible.

I disagree. I think the timing works perfectly for the A14X - they will want to get ARM Macs into the hands of developers first so they can begin porting. So if the A14X is ready this fall around the same time as the A14, they can seed developers and employees with the systems for porting and testing, and make the big announcement in June 2021 and have a nice long list of native apps available at launch.

The actual announcement will of course have been spoiled months ago because once developers get systems there's no way Apple can silence the rumor mill no matter how draconian their NDAs are.
 

Richie Rich

Senior member
Jul 28, 2019
271
141
76
The actual announcement will of course have been spoiled months ago because once developers get systems there's no way Apple can silence the rumor mill no matter how draconian their NDAs are.
Definitely I agree. SW developers will be the main source of leaks.
Did A12X came one year later after A12 too?
 

Kenmitch

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,660
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Threads a interesting read on a subject I have zero interest in....Go figure!

No interest comment is in all things Apple. What color is Apple's kool-aid?
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
4,655
845
126
Another rumor about MacBook on ARM. Probably during first half of 2021.
This late could mean different silicon than the A14X for iPads. 8-core CPU for laptop becomes standard so Apple might want 8 big cores with 8 small cores. IMO die area probably around 200mm2 at 5nm, pretty large but still feasible.

I doubt that they roll this out to the entire lineup at once. Even though they could if they really wanted to, I expect a far more incremental approach. Apple doesn't need to make a 16-core monstrosity, when they could probably just take what they're going to use in the iPad Pro and put it in a MacBook Air which is the perfect product for Apple to introduce something like this.

The MacBook Air is their entry model laptop which doesn't use a powerful x86 chip to begin with and would benefit from having a low-power ARM chip more than anything else. It's also a product that isn't widely used by professionals that might not be able to move until the software they rely on has ARM support, which could take a year or two.

Apple doesn't sell enough computers to make it feasible for them to build large monolithic chips like that. They'd need to use the same kind of chiplet-based approach like AMD has employed where they can focus on a design that works fine with only 4-cores, but could easily scale upward without needing separate chips for mobile, notebooks, desktop, and HEDT.
 
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name99

Member
Sep 11, 2010
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Definitely I agree. SW developers will be the main source of leaks.
Did A12X came one year later after A12 too?
(a)
A10X was June so about 9mo after A10
A12X was late Oct, so rigght after A12

(b)
One factor in the A10X schedule was to act as an early test vehicle (with known design, and no fixed schedule) for TSMC's 10nm. It would make sense for an A13X to play a similar role, to be released some time in say Q2 (or even, if 5nm has been doing really well, in March as some rumors have it).

(c)
The obvious time to talk about an ARM Mac is WWDC. (Presumably that will still happen, even in coronavirus makes it virtual...) That is likewise the obvious time to release developer machines. And an A13X is an obvious vehicle for them, unlike the 14X which won't be ready (or even if it's ready, Apple usually wants to keep the dramatic surprise of whatever the A14 does for its favorite child, iPhone, so ...)

(d)
It is worth looking at the timeline for the PPC to Intel transition.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple's_transition_to_Intel_processors
Even though much of current Apple management seem to have lost all sense of taste and concern for quality, you'd like to think they still have enough competence to at least copy everything that made this such a success the last time it was done. (Which includes things like WWDC, early dev machines, rapid transition to consumer machines, rapid transition across the entire line, no dithering no second-guessing).
 
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jpiniero

Diamond Member
Oct 1, 2010
7,453
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Apple doesn't sell enough computers to make it feasible for them to build large monolithic chips like that. They'd need to use the same kind of chiplet-based approach like AMD has employed where they can focus on a design that works fine with only 4-cores, but could easily scale upward without needing separate chips for mobile, notebooks, desktop, and HEDT.
The rumor I've seen is an 8 core chip. Monolithic or chiplets I haven't seen, but chiplets would make things a lot easier I'm sure.
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
4,655
845
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The rumor I've seen is an 8 core chip. Monolithic or chiplets I haven't seen, but chiplets would make things a lot easier I'm sure.
They could make an 8-core monolithic chip using a 4&4 big.LITTLE approach without much of a problem and it could be used in both their iPad Pro and entry level consumer laptop and Mac Mini.

I wouldn't expect them to use chiplets right away, but if they wanted to use it for their entire lineup they eventually have to since they don’t sell anywhere near enough Mac Pros to make a Xeon replacement.
 

Richie Rich

Senior member
Jul 28, 2019
271
141
76
(a)
A10X was June so about 9mo after A10
A12X was late Oct, so rigght after A12

(b)
One factor in the A10X schedule was to act as an early test vehicle (with known design, and no fixed schedule) for TSMC's 7nm. It would make sense for an A13X to play a similar role, to be released some time in say Q2 (or even, if 5nm has been doing really well, in March as some rumors have it).

(c)
The obvious time to talk about an ARM Mac is WWDC. (Presumably that will still happen, even in coronavirus makes it virtual...) That is likewise the obvious time to release developer machines. And an A13X is an obvious vehicle for them, unlike the 14X which won't be ready (or even if it's ready, Apple usually wants to keep the dramatic surprise of whatever the A14 does for its favorite child, iPhone, so ...)

(d)
It is worth looking at the timeline for the PPC to Intel transition.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple's_transition_to_Intel_processors
Even though much of current Apple management seem to have lost all sense of taste and concern for quality, you'd like to think they still have enough competence to at least copy everything that made this such a success the last time it was done. (Which includes things like WWDC, early dev machines, rapid transition to consumer machines, rapid transition across the entire line, no dithering no second-guessing).
Thanks for great answer!
OK, so we can expect A14X right after A14.
Apple can announce MacBook Air on ARM this year in theory. I think Apple can have sell both Intel and ARM versions of laptops in the same time. This is different situation nowadays than move from PowerPC because that time was PPC slower than Intel so laptops with Wintel were performing much better. This time Apple can ask premium price for premium A14X performance and battery life.

And what about external pressure from generic Cortex cores such as A78 Hercules? Laptops based on A78 cores (IPC better than Ice Lake and Zen3) will be very competitive against Ice Lake and Renoir. IMHO for ultra thin 10-15W TDP category the A78 based laptops will be superior over x86 in MT performance. I wouldn't be surprised that Apple is kind of pushed into ARM laptops by generic Cortex cores which are coming soon.
 

eek2121

Senior member
Aug 2, 2005
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I don't understand why people have said that Apple's ARM CPUs are faster than x86. I have, in my possession, an iPhone Pro Max. I have run various benchmarks on it, and I've also looked up Benchmarks online. The CPU is still very much in line with a Core i3 or low end i5 when it comes to performance.

I have my doubt about Apple switching to ARM unless they can shore up the performance. Things are getting even more complicated, because Zen cores could, in theory, run in the same power envelope as a high end Snapdragon while providing better performance.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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I don't understand why people have said that Apple's ARM CPUs are faster than x86. I have, in my possession, an iPhone Pro Max. I have run various benchmarks on it, and I've also looked up Benchmarks online. The CPU is still very much in line with a Core i3 or low end i5 when it comes to performance.

I have my doubt about Apple switching to ARM unless they can shore up the performance. Things are getting even more complicated, because Zen cores could, in theory, run in the same power envelope as a high end Snapdragon while providing better performance.
But you forget, some here pick benchmarks that show their favorite product in a good light, not real world.

If they were that good, everybody would be on arm, not AMD and Intel x86.
 

Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
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I don't understand why people have said that Apple's ARM CPUs are faster than x86. I have, in my possession, an iPhone Pro Max. I have run various benchmarks on it, and I've also looked up Benchmarks online. The CPU is still very much in line with a Core i3 or low end i5 when it comes to performance.

I have my doubt about Apple switching to ARM unless they can shore up the performance. Things are getting even more complicated, because Zen cores could, in theory, run in the same power envelope as a high end Snapdragon while providing better performance.
Haven't you seen the numbers? Just look in the signature. They don't lie. AMD and Intel are incompetent, and have been playing us for a bunch of chumps! Just wait until we see ARM dominate next year. Just like they could have years ago but nobody decided to bother. /s
 

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