Quad-Core ARM CPU Support Found in Xcode, Quickly Removed by Apple

Sep 23, 2011 - 9 Comments

Apple looks to be experimenting with quad-core ARM CPU’s, possibly for future iPhone, iPad, and even MacBook Airs, as references in Xcodes default compiler reveal. This was first discovered by ArsTechnica, who proposes three possible scenarios for why the CPU support exists:

  • Quad-core processor could be included in next-gen iOS devices like the iPad 3
  • The quad-core chip could be coming to the MacBook Air (earlier rumors suggest a move away from Intel is possible)
  • The CPU is being used for iOS and OS X prototypes

Ars concludes the third option is most likely, suggesting that Apple is using the CPU for prototypes:

“most probable in our opinion, is that Apple is using the Marvell chip in prototypes of future iOS device designs (or even an ARM-based MacBook Air that is rumored to exist somewhere inside One Infinite Loop) for testing purposes. An Armada XP-powered prototype logic board would allow iOS or Mac OS X software engineers to experiment with performance tuning and other optimizations”

Since the discovery, Apple has been quick to remove the source, the original page no longer exists although several references are still found on this page.

page removed

Update: the references have since been removed from the second page as well.


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Posted by: Matt Chan in News, Rumor


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  1. […] resolution, double the current iPad’s screen of 1024×768, and the quad-core CPU has been hinted at in a variety of ways. The biggest news here, if true, may be the addition of 4G LTE network […]

  2. Stewart says:

    I hope Apple is not stupid enough to make an ARM based MacBook AIR – is it powerful enough to run compiler tools – NO. Even if it 16 cores – it will still be slower than this 2010 MBA I am typing this on.

    I assume this is likely the A6 or A7 planned for 2012/2013

    The big question has iOS been enhanced to handle multiple cores.

  3. Joseph says:

    Considering whenever they roll them out they’d be comparable to the low end Intels in the Macbook Airs is my guess. It’s not like the Airs are beast machines right?

    • Stewart says:

      The 2011 ones are latest generation Intel CPU – my Guess is that Apple might have thought about it before but i5/i7 would make that decision pointless.

  4. LukasMendez says:

    How do you remove this again? :D

  5. Joe Knows says:

    ARM is much slower but Apple will make a load of money if they use their own processors. It’s bound to happen folks, get used to it.

    • Stewart says:

      I wonder why Apple work with Intel on Thunderbolt! I would think it would work out best for both Apple and Intel – to work together – after all Intel could gain from Apple’s low power experience.

  6. nascent says:

    I really don’t want ARM Macs, they will be so much slower than anything Intel offers =(

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