some follow-on questions about Apple's 'rosetta' technology
January 15, 2006 3:54 AM Subscribe
I'm curiouser and curiouser about this "Rosetta" technology which will bridge the gorge between here and an all-Intel world for Apple. I understand that it is "binary translation" and not exactly "emulation," but I have some follow-ups...
posted by scarabic to computers & internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1) Supposedly, with "binary translation" chunks of code only need to be 'translated' once and can then be run without emulation afterward. How does that work, exactly? Can I power up my MacBook Pro, use all my apps all day, put it to sleep, and still enjoy the benefits of that day's work tomorrow? When I wake up in the morning, will all my "chunks of code" still be translated already? How persistent are those translations and what size "chunks" are we talking about?
2) So is Apple recompiling their OS and all its companion utilities and apps for the Intel platform? Or are things like iMovie and TextEdit and the System Preferences control panel all going to run under "Rosetta?"
3) What kind of historical predecessors exist for this "binary translation" technique and how much of a noticeable affect might it have on everyday performance? It's great that the processors are "4x" as fast, but if every single thing they're running is bogged down in "binary translation" then it doesn't make a big diff.
4) How much rigamarole do developers need to go through to release "Universal" editions of their software, which can run natively? Is it likely that they are even welcoming this change, so they don't have to worry about the PowerPC platform anymore?
5) What has Apple lost, processor-wise, in the transition? They spent a lot of time talking up Alti-Vec and the G5. Is the dual-core Intel chip all that?
I am a more or less average computer user and not particularly well-versed in chip technology or software development.