During the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020, Apple announced its intention to transition Macs from Intel chips to its own Apple silicon processors starting in late 2020. Similar to the A-series chips used in iPhones and iPads, Apple’s custom Mac chips will be ARM-based. The transition is expected to take two years.
By adopting its own chips, Apple aims to bring a new level of performance and energy-efficiency to Macs. The change will allow Apple to free themselves from their dependence on Intel’s release timelines and delays and provide more regular technology improvements and updates on its own schedule. The transition will also mean there will be a common architecture across all Mac product lines, making it easier for developers to write and optimize software that runs on all Apple products.
Current Mac Chips vs. Apple Silicon
Macs currently run on Intel x86 chips but do use the T1 and T2 Apple-designed ARM processors to power the Touch Bar and other features. iPhones and iPads, meanwhile, have already been running solely on Apple’s own ARM-based chips for over a decade. Since the two chips are built on different architectures, the transition from x86 to ARM as the primary processor on Macs is expected to take some time and work.
Apple’s first chip designed in-house was the A4, which debuted commercially in 2010 as part of the first generation iPad and was later used in the iPhone 4. Since then, Apple’s processors have gotten faster and more efficient each year.
Its latest A-series chip, the A14 Bionic, was unveiled on 15 September 2020 and is featured in the 4th generation iPad Air as well as all versions of the iPhone 12. It includes a 6-core design, a 4-core graphics architecture, second-generation machine learning accelerators in the CPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine capable of performing up to 11 trillion operations per second. Other features include custom encryption, image signal processing, memory and storage controllers, custom-built GPUs, and Secure Enclave. All these capabilities are expected to also be part of the new Mac processors.
Endpoint Protector Compatible with Apple Silicon
As the most trusted Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution for macOS on the market, Endpoint Protector always strives to be ahead of the curve whenever Apple announces product updates and improvements. A truly cross-platform solution, Endpoint Protector offers feature parity for all operating systems, ensuring that companies get the same level of protection and features whether their computers run on macOS, Windows, or Linux. macOS has therefore been part of Endpoint Protector’s development process since the very beginning.
Recently, Endpoint Protector was one of the first DLP vendors on the market to transition to a KEXTless agent built on Apple’s new Endpoint Security Framework when Apple announced the deprecation of its kernel extensions in favor of new system extensions. Meanwhile, Endpoint Protector’s legacy client, notarized under the Apple notarization requirement, continues to work on older versions of the operating system, from macOS 10.8 to macOS 10.15.
Now, in anticipation of the launch of the first Macs running on Apple silicon chips, we are pleased to announce continued compatibility between Endpoint Protector’s KEXTless client and Macs’ new ARM-based chip architecture. The new Endpoint Protector client works seamlessly in emulated mode on macOS Big Sur using Rosetta 2 Intel emulator on ARM. Compatibility was tested using Apple’s Developer Transition Kit provided through its Quick Start Program that helps developers create and test apps for Apple silicon.
The first Macs running on Apple silicon chips are expected to be introduced before the end of 2020, with Apple planning on transitioning all its Macs to the new processors within the next two years.
For more information regarding our product or continuous commitment to support macOS in the Enterprise, please contact us at email@example.com.
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