Starting with ChemDoodle 2D v11.12.0 and ChemDoodle 3D v6.6.1, native Apple Silicon builds of our applications are provided for users with compatible macOS computers. You may download ChemDoodle desktop applications here.
Apple's revolutionary M1 processor (Image source: apple.com)
Apple Silicon is one name for a new processor type most modern Macs now use. Apple Silicon is also known as ARM, aarch64 or an M Series Chip (M1, M1 Max, M1 Utra, M2, etc.). Previously, ChemDoodle desktop applications were only distributed as x86_64 (traditional 64 bit platform) builds. They would still run on Macs with Apple Silicon chips, but would require Rosetta 2. Rosetta 2 is an emulation layer allowing x86_64 applications to run on Apple Silicon hardware. So with our native Apple Silicon builds, Rosetta 2 is no longer required.
This is not the only benefit, as the speed of our ChemDoodle applications is significantly faster natively on Apple Silicon versus through Rosetta 2. The following graph compares the speed difference between various actions for ChemDoodle applications run natively on Apple Silicon versus as an x86_64 build through Rosetta 2. For further comparison, we also include an x86_64 build run natively on an Intel Mac.
Please note, while there is significant benefit to using our new Apple Silicon builds, they are only compatible with Apple Silicon Macs. If you are using an x86_64 Mac (also known as an Intel Mac), the Apple Silicon build will not be able to run, and you will see the following error message. Please download the Intel build of our ChemDoodle software instead.
If you run the Intel version of ChemDoodle on an Apple Silicon Mac, ChemDoodle will still run properly, but will notify you to switch to the Apple Silicon build as seen in the following message.
Our download page will present both the Intel and Apple Silicon builds of our desktop software, so you may choose the one appropriate for your computer.
Eventually, support for x86_64 applications on macOS will wane as Apple further deprecates their tools for the legacy hardware and stops providing access to Rosetta 2. With our native Apple Silicon builds for ChemDoodle applications, this is not a concern, as our applications will continue to work on future Macs. We will also eventualy stop creating our x86_64 builds for Macs when they are no longer viable on current macOS platforms or are no longer useful to our users.