Just earlier today we noted that news was making the rounds that Apple might be seeking to shift their Mac product line away from Intel processors, to an ARM-based chip. AllThingsD has since reported on all the things Apple would likely have to tackle to make such a transition a reality.
The report goes on to point out that Intel traditionally focuses on performance, while the ARM architecture focuses on power efficiency. There seems to be no reason why Apple couldn’t make the ARM architecture a more performance-driven technology so it could be usable with the company’s Mac line of products.
ARM just announced a 64-bit processor design, and this would be key to any a hypothetical move to that architecture. Another development that would further ease the transition is a new technology from Elbrus Technologies that will allow software written for Intel processors to work on ARM-based chips. Kinda like Apple’s Rosetta emulation software that was used during the PowerPC/Intel transition.
Considering the other side of things, Intel has always focused on performance and since Apple made the switch to Intel in 2005, the relationship between the two companies seems to be pretty strong. I believe Apple can, and will, move away from Intel processors. However, I believe this will take time, as the performance of ARM chips hasn’t quite caught up with Intel yet. Give it time, and you’ll see Apple make the jump, if for no other reason than to have total control over the chips that go into their machines.