Latest in Gear

Image credit: Apple

Rosetta 2 will keep old Intel apps running on Apple's new silicon

It's an emulator that helps developers manage the architecture transition.
Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
November 10, 2020
112 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
rosetta 2
Apple

Sponsored Links

The new M1 silicon chip that Apple unveiled at its One More Thing event on Tuesday is the first of company’s new line of custom Arm-based silicon processors. These will utilize an ARM64 architecture — a departure from the x86–64 architecture found on the Intel chips Apple used previously. While this change will enable Macs to run iOS and iPadOS apps in addition to MacOS ones, it does prevent the new devices from running apps designed for the old Intel chips. So that’s why the company has released Rosetta 2.

“Rosetta is a translation process that allows users to run apps that contain x86-64 instructions on Apple silicon,” its developer page reads. “Rosetta is meant to ease the transition to Apple silicon, giving you time to create a universal binary for your app. It is not a substitute for creating a native version of your app.”

This process runs primarily on the back end and is invisible to the user, though they might notice a bit of performance slowdown as it does its translational work. In short, it’s an emulator that will give developers a bit of breathing room as Apple transitions architectures. Their existing apps will continue to work while the devs set about updating their code.

But they’ll have to be quick about it because there’s no telling how long Rosetta 2 will be available. Its predecessor was released in 2006 when Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel but only remained functional through three OSX Tiger versions. To that point, the company has already been issuing Developer Transition Kits to spur the process on.

Catch up on all the latest news from Apple's November event!

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
112 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
The best TV deals we could find for Black Friday

The best TV deals we could find for Black Friday

View
'Marvel's Avengers' hasn't turned a profit yet

'Marvel's Avengers' hasn't turned a profit yet

View
Apple's Intel-powered MacBook Air falls to $799 ahead of Black Friday

Apple's Intel-powered MacBook Air falls to $799 ahead of Black Friday

View
Comcast is hiking TV and internet prices in 2021

Comcast is hiking TV and internet prices in 2021

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr