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Tecplot on Apple Silicon


Are Tecplot products supported on Apple Silicon (aka M1 & M2 chips)? 

Yes. Tecplot 360, FieldView, Tecplot Focus, and PyTecplot all run on Apple Silicon based machines. That said, you’ll need Rosetta 2 to run them. If Rosetta 2 isn’t already installed on your mac, see this article for installation instructions. 

 

But PyTecplot in batch mode doesn’t work on my Apple Silicon machine! 

In order to use PyTecplot in batch on an Apple Silicon machine, you must use an Intel-64 version of Python and install PyTecplot in that Intel based Python environment. PyTecplot in batch will not work with Python built with the ARM64 architecture. 

The reason Python built with the ARM64 native architecture causes errors is because PyTecplot is effectively a thin layer over the Tecplot 360 engine, which is built on Intel-based Mac machines.  The Python executable needs to have the same machine architecture as the Tecplot 360 engine libraries. 

The good news is that the ‘universal2’ installation of Python includes an Intel-64 Python executable. To ensure compatibility with PyTecplot, invoke Python from a command line with the python3-intel64 command instead of just python3. 

For example, to run a PyTecplot script (an example script can be found at /Applications/Tecplot 360 EX 2022 R2/pytecplot/examples/00_hello_world.py), use: 

“/Applications/Tecplot 360 EX 2022 R2/bin/tec360-env” — python3-intel64 -O 00_hello_world.py 

instead of: 

   “/Applications/Tecplot 360 EX 2022 R2/bin/tec360-env” — python3 -O 00_hello_world.py 

PyTecplot and Connected Mode 

That said – you can use either ARM64 or Intel-64 Python when running PyTecplot in connected mode to Tecplot 360.  This is because in connected mode the Python executable is not loading the Tecplot 360 engine libraries, but instead it is communicating with Tecplot 360 via sockets. The socket communication doesn’t have the same architecture limitation.  

 

Are there any problems with Tecplot products on Apple Silicon? 

On macOS, Tecplot 360 is known to be slower to render views, especially with a large number of cells.  This is because Apple is transitioning away from OpenGL and to Metal for their hardware rendering.  Some of the OpenGL optimizations used by 360 are no longer available on Apple’s graphics cards.  That said, most users seem to be happy in their day-to-day workflows. Some even report drastic speed improvements for CPU-based operations (even running under Rosetta 2). 

If you find Tecplot 360 isn’t fast enough for you on your Apple Silicon machine, email us at support@tecplot.com, and give Fieldview a try. 

 

When will Tecplot products natively support Apple Silicon? 

We have no defined timeline, but we’re aware of the desire for native Apple Silicon builds of Tecplot products and are planning for that eventuality.  In the meantime, rest assured that the Tecplot products which are supported on Mac do run on Apple Silicon machines and we will support you.