Though many in the industry have been dismissive of the concept of ARM-powered Macs earlier, there has been considerable speculation that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will opt for ARM processors in all Macs in 2016 because of huge performance gains. However as impressive as Apple’s A-series microchips are they in a position to drive Macs?
The solution isn’t direct. However, a fresh series of parameters indicate that Apple’s ARM processors are beginning to match performance with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)‘s Core M processors that drive the 12-inch Retina MacBook. If this speed is maintained iPads could be quicker than Macs in a span of few generations.
An in-depth testing of the iPad Pro places the A9x Soc that drives Apple’s 12-inch tablet with a series of benchmarks. The testing benchmarks the iPad Pro to CoreM devices such as the ASUS ZenBook UX305CA, ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi and the Retina MacBook.
The A9X matches performance in several benchmarks with the Zenbook as well as the MacBook. It led in half the parameters but is behind in total performance. The ASUS Transformer Book defeated the iPad Pro in each category.
A9X matches performance with both Skylake Core M as well as Broadwell processors. This is something Apple couldn’t boast of a generation back. However, it doesn’t seem that ARM-based Macs will be released in 2016.
As per an article from the Financial website, The Motley Fool, Intel is intending to launch three processor ranges at the 10nm node. This makes it the second node (after 14nm) to have three product lines instead of two.
Cannonlake is going to be launched in 2017 and Icelake in 2018. The third CPU range is dubbed Tigerlake and will launch in 2019. Intel wants to return to the 2-year, 2-product cycle applicable to nodes over 10nm. However, as the manufacturing processes become more complicated a short launch cycle becomes more difficult.
The 7nm node that is the first over 10 nm node will be mostly launched only by 2020 and a 5nm node earliest by 2022. Intel’s third 14nm CPU, Kaby Lake will launch in the latter half of this year.