| Cult of Mac

Arm ain’t happy about how little Apple pays for its chip tech


Apple gets Arm chip tech on the cheap
Whatever you think Apple pays Arm to license its technology, the real number is probably less.
Photo: Arm/Cult of Mac

All Apple computers run on chips based on technology licensed from Arm. And it turns out the licensing fee is surprisingly low. Pennies per device.

Apple is one of Arm’s most important customers, and the two have a relationship that goes back to the early 1990s. That’s turned into a sweet deal for the iPhone-maker.

Nvidia scraps $66 billion plan to acquire mobile chip designer Arm


FTC moves to block Nvidia's acquisition of Arm
Regulators didn't like the idea of Nvidia and Arm merging together.
Image: Arm/Nvidia/Cult of Mac

Nvidia on Monday backed out of a deal to acquire mobile chip designer Arm for $66 billion, according to reports. It would have been the largest ever sale in the semiconductor industry, but regulators including the FTC weren’t keen on it.

SoftBank, the Japanese company that currently owns Arm, still expects to sell it by the end of the year through an initial public offering.

Apple loses another key chip designer as Microsoft swoops in


Groups oppose Apple photo scanning
Why is Apple struggling to hold onto its chip-makers?
Photo: Benjamin Balázs

Another key chip designer has left Apple for Microsoft. Mike Filippo, who joined Cupertino in 2019 after a decade with Arm, is the second processor engineer Apple has lost in as many weeks after Jeff Wilcox left to join Intel.

Filippo will reportedly work on server chips for Microsoft’s Azure group, which is said to be pushing forward with its own silicon for cloud computing services.

FTC wants to put a stop to Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of Arm


FTC moves to block Nvidia's acquisition of Arm
The move would "distort Arm's incentives," the FTC said.
Image: Arm/Nvidia/Cult of Mac

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit to block Nvidia from acquiring Arm. It believes the move would “distort Arm’s incentives in chip markets” and allow the combined firm to “unfairly undermine Nvidia’s rivals.”

Nvidia is already one of the largest chip companies in the world, while Arm’s technology is licensed to some of the biggest and most powerful brands, including Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm.

Windows could come to M1 Macs with Qualcomm exclusivity ending ‘soon’


Apple MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon running Windows
Apple would likely be open to the idea.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

A version of Windows built to run on Arm processors could eventually come to M1 Mac models, with Qualcomm’s current exclusivity deal with Microsoft “set to expire soon,” according to a new report.

The deal, which wasn’t public knowledge until this week, could explain why there are only a limited number of Windows devices powered by Arm chips — all made by Qualcomm — on the market today. But that’s set to change.

New Apple M1 chip will make Macs faster, less power-hungry


Apple M1 chip
Apple's new M1 chip will blow your socks off.
Photo: Apple

Apple on Tuesday delivered on its promise to unveil the first Apple Silicon chip before the end of 2020. Its brand-new M1 system-on-chip (SoC) promises industry-leading performance and power efficiency for the fastest, most impressive Macs to date.

The M1 chip is the first 5-nanometer computer chip, packing a whopping 16 billion transistors and the world’s fastest CPU cores. It also features an 8-core GPU that’s “in a class of its own,” Apple says.

ARM iMac with custom Apple GPU could arrive in second half of 2021


This iMac concept reflects what a lot of people want.
Could it look something like this?
Photo: Daniel Bautista

A brand-new iMac, powered by Apple Silicon combined with a custom Apple GPU, will land during the second half of 2021, according to a new report.

Codenamed “Lifuka,” the all-in-one is expected to use 5-nanometer chips manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company — like those destined for iPhone 12 and other Apple Silicon machines later this year.

$849 ARM MacBook could feature butterfly keys, 12-inch display


And up to 20 hours battery life?
Photo: Apple

One of Apple’s first ARM-powered notebooks could be a 12-inch MacBook with butterfly keyboard, according to one tipster. The entry-level machine could sell for just $849 with 256GB storage as standard.

Other specifications are said to include up to 20 hours of battery life in between charges, up to 16GB of RAM, and a single USB-C port.

Apple held early conversations about buying Arm, but ultimately declined


Apple Silicon
Apple has relied on Arm technology a lot over the years.
Photo: Apple

Apple reportedly participated in early stage conversations with SoftBank about acquiring its Arm Holdings.

Arm Holdings is the semiconductor conductor whose ARM architecture Apple licenses for everything from its A-series chips for iPhone and iPad to its upcoming Apple Silicon processors for Mac.