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Index > Unix > Mac move to ARM

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Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 194
Reading about the Mac Book switch from x86 to ARM. I think the new Mac Pro Desktop they released is still in x86, an Intel Xeon and they are expecting a 2 year conversion process.


Are there any more details on the implications and scope of this? I read that existing x86 applications can somehow convert to ARM before running on the new Macs, no idea how or how they can tell the app must be converted, maybe by scanning it?

"Apple is depending on its own translation technology (Rosetta 2), so you can run existing Mac apps that have not yet been updated on Arm-based Mac systems. "

And is this going to be a complete conversion? Can't tell what this quote means from here:

"We expect any further Intel Macs to be at the performance end - such as the Mac Pro and iMac Pro or the 16-inch MacBook Pro."

And what are the implications on fasm, fasmg? Cross-platform apps are often important, so fasmarm would fill in for fasm, fasmg on this platform I guess?

Realize there is some speculation here, but for cross-platform apps, think this is a significant change.
Post 16 Sep 2020, 06:27
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When all else fails, read the source

Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17625
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
For cross-platform apps I expect "everyone" will simply suggest to use an HLL. Sad

Otherwise for the assembly code you will most likely need to write your app twice, once for ARM, and again for x86, if you want to avoid invoking the emulation layer.

If you ask Apple they will just tell you to recompile with new compiler settings to get ARM code.
Post 16 Sep 2020, 06:31
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Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 194
Yeah, afraid that would be the answer. On the bright side, it's an incentive to get better at ARM. x86 + ARM is probably what runs on most consumer-side devices. Server side, there are more, like SPARC and IBM Asm.

x86/ARM are so low level that they have the benefit that a platform will probably support them, it's just a matter of how mature the app/library/service is so that it becomes useful. You don't need to install python for example to run it.

I have worked at companies that used Macs, so Linux support is not enough if the app/library is not ARM-capable anymore it seems. Definitely enthusiastic about seeing more fasm/asm around one day. Running in production is probably safer nowadays too, with containerization layers, still looking into integrating with rwasa.

Just seems like everything else is a step backwards, with JS running on servers with Node, the asynchronous behavior of which just seems like a crutch. Watched a conference on V8 where they explained the difficulties it has with determining typing at runtime too. Cross-platform is definitely an important factor, will keep an eye on this.
Post 16 Sep 2020, 19:41
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