Published: Fri, June 28, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple Takes Another Step Towards ARM-based Macs

Apple Takes Another Step Towards ARM-based Macs

The firm is rumored to be making custom ARM processors for Macs, now to not sing an augmented truth headset. Earlier this month it was reported that Apple is talking with Intel about the possible purchase of its German modem business (aka Infineon), which could result in the iPhone maker developing its own modems. Filippo was involved in the design of processors, and his contribution was particularly significant at Arm, where he was in charge of the development of various architectures. ARM confirmed Filippo's departure.

Apple has hired the former ARM CPU lead architect Mike Filippo to help in its efforts to develop its own processors, Bloomberg reports. He began his career at longtime Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., where he worked as a CPU designer from 1996 to 2004. "Mike was a long-time valuable member of the Arm community". The company already deploys its ARM-based T series of chips as a co-processor on various Mac laptops and desktops to handle features like the Touchbar, TouchID, secure boot and storage encryption.

Filippo also lead Intel's CPU and system architecture team from 2004 to 2009. "We appreciate all of his efforts and wish him well in his next endeavor".

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The hire of Filippo suggests Apple is serious about decoupling Mac systems from Intel with its own take on Microsoft's Windows 10 move on Arm chips, which haven't yet become a hit with consumers because of the trade-off between longer battery life and slower performance. Williams was Apple's head architect of chips used in the iPhone and iPad.

It's unclear when exactly Apple plans to start introducing ARM chips into the Mac, but it could comes as soon as 2020.

Apple's move makes a lot of sense - if that's indeed what it's doing.

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