Apple SIlicon, or the new CPUs based on ARM architecture will soon arrive on Macs promise incredible performance. I believe that ARM CPUs cannot compete with their x86 counterparts in terms of performance. But be careful, I’m talking about CPUs, this is intrinsic to the architecture itself. ARM, however, has the advantage of scalability and consumption. Try putting an x86 in a clock!
Apple Silicon is not a CPU but a SOC
What can compete with the x86 architecture, on the other hand, are the system on a chip, that is the whole ecosystem stuck in the chip. Apple Silicon for example is not a mere CPU, but a system on a chip. I have done various experiments, measuring performance in mere mathematical computation on different architectures. Well, you can try it too. I wrote a little program in C and in swift for the calculation of prime numbers and Fibonacci numbers.
The result is that the C code runs faster on an intel i3 of the latest Mac Mini than the same code executed on an iPad pro 2018. I tried the same code converted in Swift is compiled on both i3 (Mac Mini ) on both iPad pro. Result? The iPad destroys the Mac mini with double the performance. This makes me assume that there is something in the A13 chip, which will surely also be implemented in future Apple Silicon, which accelerates the execution of the swift code at the hardware level.
This leaves me to think that Apple Silicon processors will be implemented with different parts that will optimize performance in specific tasks, which the A13s for example already do. Try Luma Fusion, a video editing software, on iPad you will be impressed by the performance!
Many are worried about Nvidia’s acquisition of ARM, but I do not think it is a problem for Apple, otherwise it would have bought ARM itself. I believe instead that Cupertino interests for now only compatibility with the ISA ARM, but the soc of the A series and the future Apple SIlicon are totally different internally from a classic ARM chip, a bit like the AMD vs Intel chips, respect both ISA x86, but their internal architecture is totally different, ie they only speak the same language to ensure compatibility with the software.
I can imagine that in the future Apple could abandon the ISA ARM creating a totally independent ecosystem, I believe that we are only at the beginning of a revolution, Apple is returning to its origins, remember that in part Apple created the ARM architecture used for the first time in Newton.