The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

Apple CPU Architectures

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One of the most underated technical capabilities of Apple is its ability to transition its user base entirely new architectures seamlessly. Over the years, Apple has transitioned from - in order:

  • MOS 6502
  • Motorola 68000
  • Motorola PowerPC
  • Intel X86
  • Apple Silicon

This chameleon like capability has allowed Apple to stay on the leading edge of the computer industry for nearly half a century. Thats right, Apple has been on the bleeding edge of computing for an astonishing 48 years. In that time we have seen the rise and fall of Commodore, Atari, Sun, IBM just to name a few. Each advance in CPU architecture has been a death nail to countless industry giants.

Apple remains, and thrives through each of these transitions. Apple is now building its own CPU architecture - Apple Silicon - and will be taking its future in its own hands. So far, they are winning the new CPU wars.

Jacob Bartlett has written an excellent article on the Apple CPU architecture migration through the ages.