A college paper written by a former Apple intern who now works full time at the company has revealed that Apple was working on a secret experiment to port Mac OS X Snow Leopard to the ARM architecture.
In 2010, Tristan Schaap published his Bachelor thesis on his 12 week stint as an intern with Apple’s Platform Technologies Group, a subdivision of the Core OS department. The thesis was originally embargoed because it contained sensitive information, but it was eventually published by the Netherland’s Delft University of Technology several months ago, as reported by iMore.
According to the paper, Schaap worked with the group to get Darwin, the “lower half” of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, to boot onto an ARM processor from Marvell. It seems during the course of the project, he achieved his goal of “booting into a multi-user prompt,” though some issues still remained due to a “poor implementation on the debug hardware.”
According to Schaap’s LinkedIn profile, he joined Apple as a “CoreOS Engineer” after graduation and has worked there for almost a year and a half. His profile lists his 2009 intern position as an “Embedded Bringup Engineer.”