The future of ARM, Samsung and Apple.

Almost at the end of the week and looking forward to next week when I have time off from work – using three days of my annual leave but getting 9 days off in total due to my normal week being Wednesday to Sunday (Monday and Tuesday being my weekend) so I end up with two statutory holidays then three annual leave days thus making 5 days then the two days at the beginning of next week followed by two days at the beginning of the following week.

I’m not spending up big this year as I am looking to see what Samsung brings next year with the launch of the Samsung S22 range which will include an AMD GPU and hopefully the CPUs will being ARMv9 which will have all the neat stuff that ARM talked about in a recent presentation.

I’m still holding out for the ARMv9 version of Apple Silicon but equally I’m waiting for the platform to mature as earlier adopters are dealing with the usual teething problems that one faces with code that has been recently ported to a new platform so there are probably still a lot of optimisations and bug fixes that need to take place (which will occur over time). There is also plenty of optimisation that needs to take place – Chrome for example, although compatible, is gradually getting the optimisations that the Intel version had.

On the issue of Chrome, there have been some waves made recently with the announcement of a roadmap for Manifest v3 of the extension framework which Google promises will bring a more secure experience as well as improved performance (link) but critics have pointed out that the limited nature of the new APIs mean that extensions will not provide the sort of low level access which enable effective content blocking (link). There is a year before the Manifest v2 support is fully removed from Chrome so it’ll be interesting to see whether Google listen to developers and making the necessary changes – given how Google had pushed back the release of ‘Federated Learning of Cohorts’ (FLoC) (link) due to concern from consumers to regulatory agencies as well as researchers, it is possible that Google may make some concessions. I don’t think that Google will abandoned Manifest v3 completely but I could see them making some concessions in the form of adding back functionality that is lacking in Manifest v3.