重点 (Top highlight)
After 14 years of collaboration, Apple announced last month that it will no longer be using Intel’s processors for its Mac laptops and desktops. It will rely instead on Apple’s own processor designs, which, just like the chips it uses in its iPhones and iPads, are based on the ARM architecture developed by ARM Holdings, a British chip design firm.
It’s a move that has been long anticipated, driving feverish speculation in online forums for the last 10 years or so. It represents a momentous victory in the fight between ARM Holdings and mighty Chipzilla itself, Intel — a fight that has been quietly raging since the iPhone launched back in 2007.
We often laud the benefits of competition. We want to see innovative companies competing with one another in free markets, to better serve the needs and desires of consumers. All too often, however, the profits go to large corporations whose success lies not so much with their ability to satisfy consumers as it does with their ability to maintain and exploit their market dominance, stifle competition, and force consumers to put up with whatever they’re given.
我们经常赞扬竞争的好处。 我们希望看到创新的公司在自由市场上相互竞争，以更好地满足消费者的需求。 然而，利润往往流向了大公司，大公司的成功不仅仅在于满足消费者的能力，还在于维持和利用其在市场上的主导地位，扼杀竞争并迫使消费者忍受他们所承受的一切的能力。被给予。
Fortunately for ARM, Intel didn’t seem to see it as a threat until it was too late.
So when little ARM Holdings started challenging mighty Intel’s dominance of the market for computer processors in the early 2000s, one might have expected Intel to successfully use its size and financial muscle to swat away that challenge.
And yet Apple’s recent announcement is yet another in a series of huge wins for ARM over its much larger and more powerful rival. The little guy (although owned by SoftBank since 2016, it’s still far smaller than Intel) is slowly winning, and Intel appears powerless to stop it.
然而，苹果公司最近发布的声明又是ARM击败其更大更强大的竞争对手的一系列重大胜利中的又一次。 这个小家伙(尽管自2016年以来一直由SoftBank拥有 ，但仍比英特尔小得多)正在慢慢赢得胜利，英特尔似乎无能为力。
英特尔如何错过威胁 (How Intel missed the threat)
Intel has been central to some of the most important innovations in computing history. It is credited with creating the world’s first commercially available microprocessor in 1971. I own a number of Intel-powered computers myself, and they continue to serve me very well. However, it has also has been associated with some rather restrictive business practices. It was sued for antitrust behavior by semiconductor rival AMD in 2004 and ended up paying out $1.25 billion in settlements. It’s also still fighting a $1.2 billion antitrust fine levied by European regulators nearly 10 years ago. Fortunately for ARM, Intel didn’t seem to see it as a threat until it was too late.
英特尔一直是计算机历史上一些最重要的创新的核心。 1971年，它创造了世界上第一个商用微处理器 。我本人拥有许多采用Intel技术的计算机，它们继续为我提供很好的服务。 但是，它也与一些相当限制性的业务实践相关联。 2004年，它被半导体竞争对手AMD提起反垄断诉讼 ，最终支付了12.5亿美元的和解金。 它还在与近十年前欧洲监管机构开出的12亿美元反托拉斯罚款作斗争 。 对于ARM来说幸运的是，直到为时已晚，英特尔才将其视为威胁。
Apple was one of the founding partners that established ARM (then known as Advanced RISC Machines Ltd) back in 1990. Apple even used an ARM processor in its ill-fated Newton personal digital assistant in 1993. But the partnership began delivering serious profits when Apple introduced its ARM-powered iPod in 2001. The iPod didn’t need a powerful processor, but it needed a processor that required very little power, so as not to be too much of a drain on the iPod’s battery. ARM’s power-sipping processors were perfect for the task.
苹果公司是1990年建立ARM(当时称为Advanced RISC Machines Ltd)的创始合作伙伴之一。Apple甚至在1993年在命运多New的牛顿个人数字助理中使用了ARM处理器。但是当苹果公司开始合作时，该伙伴关系开始带来可观的利润在2001年推出了ARM供电的iPod。iPod不需要功能强大的处理器，但是它需要一个耗电量很少的处理器，以免给iPod的电池造成过多的消耗。 ARM的功耗处理器非常适合该任务。
The iPod, of course, took off and became hugely successful. But it seems highly unlikely that the people at Intel were at all concerned that it was powered by an ARM processor. The iPod was a specialist device, not a general computing device. ARM and Intel appeared to be operating in two completely different markets.
iPod当然起飞了，并取得了巨大的成功。 但是，英特尔的员工似乎完全不可能担心它由ARM处理器提供支持。 iPod是专用设备，而不是通用计算设备。 ARM和英特尔似乎在两个完全不同的市场中运营。
So while ARM focused on producing low-power chips for portable devices, Intel continued raking in the profits by pushing their processors to work ever harder and hotter and seemingly giving less thought to power-efficiency. This approach culminated in its notorious Pentium D processors, launched in 2005. I was the unfortunate owner of a desktop computer powered by a Pentium D processor. It required a huge heat sink and multiple fans to keep it cool. Boy, was that machine noisy!
因此，当ARM专注于为便携式设备生产低功耗芯片时，英特尔继续推动其处理器更加努力，更热地工作，并且似乎对功率效率的关注减少，从而继续获利。 这种方法以其臭名昭著的2005年推出的Pentium D处理器达到了高潮。不幸的是，我是使用Pentium D处理器的台式计算机的所有者。 它需要一个巨大的散热器和多个风扇以保持其冷却。 男孩，那台机器很吵！
iPhone改变了一切 (The iPhone changed everything)
In 2007, the iPhone, also powered by an ARM processor, changed the world. Once the App Store launched, the iPhone was no longer a specialist device. It was a general-purpose pocket computer. ARM was now encroaching on Intel territory.
2007年，同样配备ARM处理器的iPhone改变了世界。 App Store启动后，iPhone不再是专业设备。 那是一台通用的掌上电脑。 ARM现在正在蚕食Intel领域。
The iPhone became ubiquitous, and Apple’s competitors raced to make rival devices, running on Android. These, too, were powered by ARM processors.
Intel had missed the boat. They belatedly pushed their chips into a few smartphones, but none of the phones sold that well. ARM dominated the mobile market, and phone manufacturers had no good reason to switch to Intel.
英特尔错过了这条船。 他们后来把他们的芯片推入了一些智能手机，但是没有一部手机卖得那么好。 ARM主导了移动市场，电话制造商没有充分的理由转向英特尔。
Smartphones formed a brand-new market, and while Intel missed the opportunity to capture a share of it, its core business of manufacturing processors for desktops and laptops remained secure. The iPhone’s ARM processor had demonstrated new capabilities for mobile computing, but it couldn’t replace the functionality or processing power you could get from an Intel-powered PC or Mac.
iPad加剧了威胁 (The iPad amped up the threat)
Then, in 2010, Apple introduced the iPad, which represented another revolution in mobile computing. Relying on ARM chips, the iPad managed to dissipate heat without needing fans and could last 10 hours before needing to be charged, despite being much thinner and lighter than a laptop. At the time, you’d be lucky if your laptop battery lasted two hours. (In review tests, two of the top three selling laptops of January 2010 lasted barely more than 2 hours 30 minutes on a “balanced” power setting even when brand new.)
然后，在2010年，苹果推出了iPad，这代表了移动计算领域的另一次革命。 依靠ARM芯片，iPad无需风扇即可散发热量，尽管比笔记本电脑轻巧得多，但可以持续使用10个小时才需要充电。 那时，如果您的笔记本电脑电池可持续使用两个小时，您会很幸运。 (在审查测试中 ，即使是全新的，2010年1月销售量最大的三台笔记本电脑中的两台在“平衡”电源设置下的续航时间也几乎不到2小时30分钟。)
The success of the iPad led Intel to become extremely concerned about the prospect of tablets cannibalizing the laptop market.
Since tablets more closely rivaled the capabilities of a laptop than smartphones, they represented a much more direct threat to Intel’s core business.
The success of the iPad led Intel to become extremely concerned about the prospect of tablets cannibalizing the laptop market. Laptop manufacturers, who were equally concerned about this, launched their own tablets. But these too were powered by ARM processors.
iPad的成功使英特尔变得极为关注平板电脑蚕食笔记本电脑市场的前景。 同样关注这一点的笔记本电脑制造商也推出了自己的平板电脑。 但是这些也都由ARM处理器提供支持。
By this time, Intel had developed some lower-power Atom processors that could power tablets. But Atom processors have often been less than impressive. Initially developed and marketed as a cheaper line of chips for netbooks, Atom chips were designed to undercut the competition but to have limited performance so as not to undermine sales of Intel’s more premium-priced processors. Atom chips also faced compatibility problems as nearly all the apps in the Android app store were written with ARM processors in mind.
到这个时候，英特尔已经开发出了一些可以为平板电脑供电的低功耗Atom处理器。 但是Atom处理器通常令人印象深刻。 Atom芯片最初是作为便宜的上网本芯片产品而开发和销售的，旨在削弱竞争优势，但性能有限，以免损害英特尔价格更高的处理器的销售。 Atom芯片还面临兼容性问题，因为Android应用商店中的几乎所有应用都是在考虑ARM处理器的情况下编写的。
Given that tablets had rendered netbooks obsolete and manufacturers weren’t likely to buy Atom chips on their merits, Intel offered tablet manufacturers steep discounts and marketing rebates to try and buy some share of the tablet market. Although this convinced some tablet manufacturers to use Atom chips, none of these tablets were big success stories.
Intel eventually got fed up with throwing money away and gave up in defeat. And when the subsidies stopped, tablet manufacturers simply went back to using ARM chips.
英特尔最终受够了扔掉钱 ，在失败中放弃了。 而且当补贴停止时，平板电脑制造商只是简单地重新使用ARM芯片。
失去对创新的关注 (Losing focus on innovation)
While ARM and its partners were looking for ways to create genuinely exciting and innovative new products that really got consumers excited, Intel seemed to be more concerned with hindering the competition and protecting its own market dominance.
As ARM consolidated its grip on the smartphone and tablet markets, it was also setting its sights on the laptop market.
While Apple was developing the revolutionary iPad, Intel was trying to see off rivals in the almost instantly obsolete netbook category. When Intel pushed its Atom chips into smartphones and tablets, it wasn’t offering consumers a superior experience. It was trying to undermine the profits of rivals who offered ARM-based alternatives.
在苹果公司开发革命性的iPad的同时，英特尔试图与几乎立即过时的上网本类别中的竞争对手抗衡。 当英特尔将其Atom芯片推向智能手机和平板电脑时，它并没有为消费者提供卓越的体验。 它试图破坏那些提供基于ARM的替代产品的竞争对手的利润。
Intel’s forays into netbooks, smartphones, and tablets were fundamentally defensive moves aimed at protecting its territory. Meanwhile, as ARM consolidated its grip on the smartphone and tablet markets, it was also setting its sights on the laptop market.
Tablets never replaced laptops as many had envisioned, perhaps in part because Tim Cook proved to be a much more conservative leader than Steve Jobs. Cook was concerned about the possibility of iPad sales cannibalizing the Mac, and Apple didn’t push the iPad hard as a laptop replacement since it wanted consumers to buy both an iPad and a Mac.
There were some ARM-powered Chromebooks. And Microsoft launched its poorly implemented and ill-fated Windows RT for use on ARM-powered devices. But without a fully coordinated approach to both hardware and software, no serious threat to Intel emerged.
有一些ARM驱动的Chromebook。 微软发布了实施不佳且命运不佳的Windows RT，用于在ARM驱动的设备上使用。 但是，如果没有对硬件和软件采取完全协调的方法，就不会对英特尔造成严重威胁。
Now, 10 years after introducing the iPad, Apple has decided that the time has come to use its resources, market power, and devoted fanbase to make the Mac ARM-powered as well.
如今，在推出iPad 10年后，苹果公司决定，该利用其资源，市场支配力和忠实的支持者来制造Mac ARM驱动的产品了。
ARM的秘密武器 (ARM’s secret weapon)
But why has Apple decided to switch the Mac over to ARM? Perhaps because it gives Apple more top-to-bottom control over the design of its devices.
Intel runs a closed, secretive system, designing and manufacturing its processors all by itself and providing them on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. This is not a system that lends itself very well to innovation. If you make Intel-based devices, you have to put up with Intel’s specific designs, Intel’s prices, and Intel’s timetable.
英特尔运行一个封闭，秘密的系统，独自设计和制造其处理器，并以“采用或保留”的方式提供。 这不是一个非常适合创新的系统。 如果您生产基于Intel的设备，则必须忍受Intel的特定设计，Intel的价格以及Intel的时间表。
ARM works more flexibly. It provides base designs but allows its design partners (such as Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung) to adapt and improve them for their own specific purposes. Chip fabricators can then compete for the business of actually manufacturing them.
ARM的工作更加灵活。 它提供基本设计，但允许其设计合作伙伴(如Apple，Qualcomm和Samsung)针对自己的特定目的进行调整和改进。 然后，芯片制造商可以竞争实际制造它们的业务。
Apple makes far more money out of its ARM partnership than it has ever made out of its partnership with Intel.
Manufacturers of mobile devices are happy to rely on the ARM architecture because they can buy their processors from a competitive market. If one supplier lets them down or tries to up their prices, they can go elsewhere.
ARM is the bedrock of an open system in which ARM licensees are enabled and encouraged to innovate to compete against one another while simultaneously working together to strengthen the entire ARM ecosystem. It’s this business model that has helped ARM create the processing power for the big personal computing revolutions of the last two decades: music players, smartphones, and tablets.
Admittedly, ARM benefits greatly from having mighty Apple as a friend. Apple makes far more money out of its ARM partnership than it has ever made out of its partnership with Intel. The power efficiency and thermal characteristics of ARM chips are a large part of what has enabled Apple to pursue the slim and sexy design aesthetic that has made its iPhones and iPads so popular.
诚然，ARM与强大的Apple成为朋友，使ARM受益匪浅。 苹果从ARM合作伙伴关系中获得的收益比与英特尔的伙伴关系中获得的收益要多得多。 ARM芯片的能效和散热特性在很大程度上促使Apple追求纤薄而性感的设计美学，从而使其iPhone和iPad如此受欢迎。
And now, with Apple’s help, ARM has finally broken through in the laptop market. That’s great news for ARM, great news for Apple, and absolutely brilliant news for fans of great technology and fair competition over brute market power.