RISC-V: Did Apple Make the Wrong Choice?

Apple’s M1 chip is based on ARM. But what if the open source RISC-V instruction-set proves superior to ARM?

A board with a RISC-V based microprocessor: SiFive RISC-V HiFive
  1. In 1994 Apple transitioned again, this time from Motorola 6800x0 architecture to the PowerPC RISC processor made by IBM and Motorola.
  2. MacOS 9 to MacOS X. In 2001 they made this transition, suprisingly smoothly. The Microsoft transition from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 was a far more bumpy ride. The 16-bit Windows 3.11 applications did not run in an isolated environment allowing them e.g. to kill the whole operating system if their crashed.
  3. Few years later in 2006 we got the famous PowerPC to Intel transition.
  4. Now they are doing an Intel to ARM transition which thus far looks like it will go very well.

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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