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Apple released the first ARM-based Macs

In June 2020 Apple announced its intention to transition away from Intel processors to Macs powered by its own Apple Silicon chips starting in late 2020. Apple said that by using its own ARM-based processors, it will be able to build better Macs that will boost better performance while also being more energy efficient. They kept their word: the first ARM-based 13-inch Macbook PRo is here with an M1 chip.

Apple is no stranger to ARM-based architecture, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV all use Advanced RISC machine (ARM-based) processors instead of Intel chips, which use the CISC instruction set. In fact, the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro are already equipped with Apple-designed ARM processors, in the form of the T1 and T2 chips that power the Touch Bar, Secure Enclave, and other features in these machines. Apple's familiarity with the ARM architecture is one of the reasons they have decided that it was time to make the wholesale switch for its desktop and notebook machines.

By switching to ARM with macOS, Apple simplifies the work for developers who want to release their software on all Apple hardware. They only have to develop for one architecture. The entire Apple ecosystem will become a large universal platform. In addition, developers can now use the Apple artificial intelligence APIs with the neural processing unit and they can use the Metal API for the GPU, just like apps for iOS and iPadOS.

Consequences for users and developers

The switch from Intel to ARM is not only a change of hardware supplier, but also of architecture, which has major consequences for users and developers, as software must be adapted. In the transition period, macOS will support both architectures, but ultimately the focus will be entirely on ARM.

By switching to ARM processors, Apple must adapt its operating system and make it suitable for that architecture. That has already been done behind the scenes and will be reflected in macOS 11 Big Sur. Apple also indicates that its own software has already been prepared for Macs with ARM chips. This includes the apps included with macOS as well as professional software such as Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.

Emulation with Rosetta 2

For software that does not run on ARM and of which no conversion is yet in sight, Apple has released an emulator: Rosetta 2. This is a successor to the emulator that was present in Mac OS from 2006 to 2009, to run PowerPC programs on Intel- hardware. The new version of the emulator means that software compiled for Macs with Intel CPUs can run on ARM hardware.

Apple claims that Rosetta 2 is fast, but emulation will come with a loss of performance anyway. Emulation is no guarantee that all software will work. Compatibility issues may arise due to the different architectures. Apple does state that this will be less the case with Rosetta 2 than with the previous version, but how this will work out in practice remains to be seen.

Logic Technology is prepared

MacBooks are widely used in product design and (embedded) software development. We have worked closely with our partners to ensure that their software and tools support Apple's ARM-based product development and that they run on ARM-based Macs. Here's an overview of the currently compatible software and tools. If you have any questions, Please contact us, we are here to help!

LDRA Automates Software Verification, Requirements Traceability and Standards Compliance.
The LDRA tool suite® helps you build quality into your software development life-cycle. Our software standards compliance, testing, and verification tools are based on industry best practices to help you develop high quality safety- and security-critical products. Many users of the LDRA tool suite are required to certify their software. The LDRA tool suite’s open and extensible platform is unique in its integration of software life-cycle traceability, static and dynamic analysis, unit test and system-level testing on virtually any host or target platform.

LDRA tools are available on Windows, Linux and macOS and support safety critical SW development in C/C++ , Ada95, Java and Assembler supporting standards like DO-178C , IEC61508, ISO26262, EN50128, IEC 15408, SAE J3061 just to name a few.

Arttest is a fast, user-friendly and powerful tool for functional testing of MATLAB®/Simulink® models as recommended by ISO 26262 and other IEC 61508 derivatives.
Arttest was specifically designed to enhance re-usability of simulation cases and procedures as tests,
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Moreover, the structural coverage analysis process can be performed as a by-product of the automated test harness operations, showing that the verification process has been completed to the satisfaction of all applicable objectives as defined by ISO26262 or IEC61508 

Arttest is platform independent and Runs on all current Windows®, Mac OS® and Linux operating systems.

Insyde® Software 
a leading provider of UEFI BIOS and systems management software, has swiftly made use of its expertise in platform design, development, integration, along with its experience in enabling notebooks with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 1, for adapting traditional x86 boot processes for the ARM-based platform, and more.

Key items and features that Insyde provides for ARM-based platforms include a full Setup utility, hotkey services during POST, flexible initialization of peripheral devices, a custom BIOS interface for external component communication, and assistance in customizing Boot processes on demand.

Do everything with Windows drives on your Mac. 
Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera provides read-write support for NTFS-formatted USB drives – with rock-solid reliability compared to other NTFS for Mac alternatives.

Open, edit, copy, move, or delete files stored on Windows NTFS-formatted USB drives on your Mac. When you get a new Mac, it’s only able to read Windows NTFS-formatted USB drives. To add, save, or write files to your Mac, you need an add-on NTFS driver. Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Tuxera is easy-to-use software that makes this possible.

Supported platforms: Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.12 (Sierra), macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), macOS 10.14 (Mojave), macOS 10.15 (Catalina) – and coming soon, macOS 11.0 (Big Sur)

Supported hardware: Intel, PowerPC Mac, and coming soon, Apple Silicon

Crank Storyboard
Storyboard™ consists of Storyboard Designer, a graphical development environment; and Storyboard Engine, an optimized runtime for target hardware. Using one solution, user interface (UI) designers and embedded system engineers can work in parallel to quicky prototype and deploy rich animated UIs for embedded devices. Storyboard bridges the gap between the UI designer who controls the look and feel of the project, and the
system engineer who is responsible for implementing core system functionality. 

Crank Software Storyboard available for Windows 10, MacOs and Ubuntu Linux.