Apple Intern Worked on ARM-port of Mac OS X

Apple Intern Worked on ARM-port of Mac OS X

An intriguing piece of research has surfaced courtesy of a former Apple intern who now works as a Core OS Engineer at the Cupertino-based company.

Tristan Schaap worked for 12 weeks in 2012 as an intern with Apple’s Platform Technologies Group and published a Bachelor thesis based on his work there.

The thesis, according to iMore, was embargoed for obvious reasons but then published by the Netherland’s Delft University of Technology.

Its title “Porting Darwin to the MV88F6281″, subtitled “ARMing the Snow Leopard” aimed to get Darwin, the Mac OS X kernel, to work on the Marvel MV88F6281 processor which is based on the ARMv5 architecture.

The last major architecture shift happened in 2005 when Apple moved from the PowerPC platform to the Intel powered one.

The rise of the mobile segment of Apple together together with the fact that the company has put some significant resources into building its own silicon (the A4, A5 and future A6) means it is more than likely that sooner or later the entire Apple ecosystem will run on ARM.

There have been past rumours of Apple getting a MacBook Air prototype to run on the A5 processor, which powers the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2.

Apple has already transitioned one product line, the Apple TV from Intel to ARM and has canned the Intel-based Xserve range.

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