Apple will introduce ARM-processor for Mac in June
After years of rumors and speculation that Apple will eventually abandon Intel and start producing its own processors for Mac computers, Bloomberg reports that Apple is almost ready to do so - the company could make an official announcement as early as this month.
Apple has been building its own ARM-based processors for the iPhone and iPad for years, and they usually outperform the best chips from Qualcomm, MediaTek, and other key players in the mobile processor market.
But for its desktop computers and Mac laptops, the company has been using Intel chips based on the x86 architecture for more than a decade. Switching to its own processors could give the company more control over the performance of Mac computers, allowing it to optimize the interaction of its hardware and software - much as it does with iOS devices.
Switching to a different architecture is a big project that usually takes years. But Apple is no stranger. Before using Intel chips in their computers, the company used PowerPC processors. Apple announced plans to switch to Intel/x86 at the WWDC conference in 2005, and the following year in 2006, the company began shipping Macs with Intel processors.
According to Bloomberg sources, Apple plans to take a similar approach this time, announcing a switch to its own processors at WWDC, which will start on June 22, 2020, and then begin shipping ARM-based Macs in 2021.
It is unclear how long it will take Apple to fully switch to ARM processors. It is likely that the first chips will be mobile processors optimized for thin and light laptops, rather than the power-intensive high-performance chips used in systems such as the Mac Pro.
Bloomberg suggests that the first Mac processor will be a 12-core ARM-based processor with 8 high-performance "Firestorm" cores and 4 energy-efficient "Icestorm" cores, as well as special cores for graphics and neural processing / artificial intelligence.