What does Apple’s move to use ARM processors mean for the user? How will this change the computer market in the future?
There is no doubt that Apple is considered one of the largest and most influential technology companies on the market today, despite the criticism directed at it because of its delay in using the latest technology with its products such as the iPhone, but some of its bold steps that it took previously changed the market for years, it had a great role in the growth The smartphone market After announcing the first iPhone in 2007, and several weeks ago during the WWDC 2020 conference, it took another bold step that would completely change the computer market in the future.
After the subject remained a hard-to-believe rumor for years, the company finally announced its two-year plan to replace Intel processors with ARM processors within its Mac computers, which is considered a bold decision given the difficulty of implementing it and the many challenges that may stand in the way of the company if it moves To fully use ARM processors, but why is this decision important to users? How will it affect the computer market in the future?
The main technical difference between Intel processors and ARM processors is that the first uses a famous architecture called x86 and relies on a complex instruction set called CISC, while ARM uses its own architecture that relies on a simplified instruction set called RISC. The "Instruction Set" that the processor uses is The basic orders it operates through, and it is largely responsible for how it is designed, works, and spends energy as well.
Intel processors use the x86 architecture and manufacture the entire processor and sell it to all computer companies that request it, and thus they control the price, quality, specifications, production and manufacturing method completely, while ARM is a company that makes special designs for the processor and then licenses it to other companies such as Apple, The latter modifies this design to suit it and then requests a private company such as TSMC or Samsung to manufacture the processor according to the specifications and standards chosen by Apple.
As for AMD processors, they use an x86 architecture that “may come with other names” as is the case with Intel, depending on the CISC instruction set as well Naturally, they will not allow Apple to use its architecture and modify it to suit it. Whereas, the ARM processor architecture is not exclusive and allows other companies such as Apple to license this architecture and modify it as appropriate.
What does Apple's move to use ARM processors mean for the user?
Apple's move to use ARM processors is a paradigm shift that will lead to many changes to the company's computers, and although it is still too early to know the results of this change accurately, it is possible to expect some changes that the user will notice when using or buying one of them in the future:
Apple will fully control how the processor is developed and manufactured, in addition to the fact that the ARM architecture is not exclusive to a company as is the case with the x86 architecture, the company will be able to save some costs over time when it relies on ARM processors in its computers, especially with the prices of Intel processors that are not It is still high compared to competitors, and therefore it is possible that future Mac computers will come at lower prices compared to the equivalent Intel processors.
It should be noted that the production costs that Apple may provide does not necessarily mean that they will be directly reflected on users, as it is possible for the company to benefit from the amount that it has provided and add it to its current profits or invest in it to develop Mac computers or add new features without raising the price, for example.
Less heat, longer battery life and lighter weight
Due to the way ARM processors work, the most important thing that distinguishes them from Intel and other current computer processors is that they spend significantly less energy, and they are designed from the start to provide high performance with the lowest possible heat, and therefore due to Apple's extensive experience in this field, which is evident in phones IPhone and iPad, launching Mac computers without cooling fans or with double battery life compared to what current products offer is a possibility.
In addition, the use of processors with less heat output means that the field has become wider for the company to produce lighter and thinner MacBooks, due to the absence of the need to use cooling fans or a complex cooling system that includes more than one fan, for example.
The ability to run mobile applications on a computer
There were some rumors in the past that the company was planning to unify applications on its various devices from the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, which was unlikely due to the difficulty of achieving this, but during Apple's announcement of its move to ARM processors at the conference, it announced that its phone applications will become It can be run on upcoming Mac computers easily.
Of course, it is still too early to know the time required for this idea to become reality, but with the fact that all future Apple products will use ARM processors, in addition to the fact that the company controls the manufacture and design of its products and operating systems, doing so will not be difficult for Apple.
Apple has become extensive experience in developing and modifying ARM processors, as it has been doing this for years with iPhones that are still significantly superior to its Android competitors that use Qualcomm processors.
During the coming months, Apple will announce the first Mac computer with new ARM processors, and it is expected that it will come with some compatibility problems that the company will solve quickly as usual, but in the future and with the passage of time, these processors will become more compatible with the rest of the computer. And with the system also, and thus the system will become more stable and the company will be able to send updates independently, far from its association with Intel processors.