September 22, 2023


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Will Apple abandon ARM architecture and embrace RISC-V?

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Will Apple abandon ARM architecture and embrace RISC-V?


Will Apple abandon ARM architecture and embrace RISC-V?

It is reported that Apple’s embedded core architecture will completely abandon ARM and embrace RISC-V.

RISC-V has always been regarded as the third most potential CPU architecture besides x86 and Arm, especially its license-free and open source features have a well-known allure.

According to semiconductor analysis agency SemiAnalysis, Apple is preparing to switch the architecture of its embedded cores from Arm to RISC-V.


Will Apple abandon ARM architecture and embrace RISC-V?


Similar to most SoC chips on the market, in addition to the main core responsible for operating the operating system and user programs , Apple ‘s M1 and M2 series processors also have a large number of embedded auxiliary cores, including more than 30 in M1.


They have nothing to do with operating systems or applications, but have their own independent tasks, such as controlling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Thunderbolt interface, touchpad, flash memory chip, etc., and have their own firmware, power management.


At present, these embedded cores in Apple chips are based on the low-end Cortex-A series or embedded Cortex-M series architecture, and Apple will gradually replace them with the RISC-V architecture in the future.


Since these modules have a single function, Apple can re-match with only a slight adjustment in the firmware.


More importantly, RISC-V is free and open source, which allows Apple to save a lot of licensing fees.


The details are temporarily unknown, such as which modules are replaced in which products, but it is undoubtedly very logical for Apple to do so, which is also a major trend in the industry.



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