Digitimes today speculates on Apple’s future Intel Chip roadmap. Basically they are saying that Snow Leopard’s Grand Central feature sounds a lot like what Intel’s Nehalem processor will be able to offer with more cores and more threads/core/cycle.
The main optimization Apple describes as a target for Snow Leopard is Grand Central, a technology it says will make all of OS X multi-core aware and optimize it for allocating tasks across multiple cores and processors. Apple also says Grand Central will make it easier for OS X software developers to create programs that make the most of multi-core platforms.
With the adoption of Nehalem, Apple’s server and workstation configurations are likely to jump from eight threads (their current maximum) to 16 threads initially, with the potential to scale to 24 or more treads over the lifetime of Nehalem and its successor Westmere. Meanwhile mobile-based product lines are almost certain to see thread counts ranging from two to eight, up from the current two.
Apple is making it easy for developrs to take advantage of Intels newest technologies. Digitimes sees Apple’s roadmap as:
If Apple plans to continue with its current product mix, Intel’s roadmap gives Apple the opportunity to hit the ground running with a June 2009 (or thereabouts) launch of Snow Leopard accompanied by a completely revamped Nehalem-based – Clarksfield-based MacBook Pro and iMac, Auburndale or Clarksfield-based MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac mini, and Gainestown-based Mac Pro and Xserve – product lineup.