Thursday, June 11, 2009

The history of Apple's 64-bit transition and how it got disturbed by the Intel transition

Apple started the transition to 64-bit with the release of the G5 in 2003. Unfortunately it got disturbed by the Intel transition. Here is a timeline:
  • June 2003: Apple releases the 64-bit Power Mac G5, shipping it with the first G5-capable version of Mac OS X that supported only 64-bit physical addressing.
  • September 2004: Apple releases the 64-bit iMac G5.
  • April 2005: Apple released Tiger, adding support for 64-bit command-line apps.
  • June 2005: Apple announces the Intel transition.
  • January 2006: Apple releases the first Intel Macs with a 32-bit-only Core Duo processor (of course shipping them with the first 32-bit-only Intel version of Mac OS X 10.4), downgrading the iMac to 32-bit.
  • June 2006: Apple announces the Mac Pro with 64-bit Xeon processors (of course shipping them with the later 64-bit capable Intel version of Mac OS X 10.4).
  • September 2006: Apple releases the Core 2 Duo based iMac, upgrading it to 64-bit again.
  • October 2007: Apple releases Leopard with 64-bit GUI application support.
  • June 2009: Apple announces the Intel-only Snow Leopard with a 64-bit kernel.

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