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Future ARM SoCs for Mac

April 23, 2020.

Apple Store in Guangzhou.

Apple Store in Guangzhou. © iStock.

Following up on Ming-Chi Kuo’s report in February about the release, in 2021, of an ARM-equipped Macintosh, Bloomberg states that, “according to people familiar with the matter”, Apple is working on a line of ARM-based SoCs for its Macs. These processors are based on the future A14, which will power the next iPhones and iPads, and are built by TSMC based on a 5nm process. The initial wave of Mac chips will have eight high-performance Firestorm cores and four energy-efficient Icestorm ones, or 12 in all. The A12Z chip used in the current iPad Pro has eight cores: four high performance and four energy efficient. Bloomberg speculates that Apple’s first ARM-based machines will be lower-powered MacBooks because its own chips won’t be able to match Intel’s performance in its higher-end MacBook Pros, iMacs, and Mac Pro computers.

Ars Technica, Samuel Axon, “Report: Apple will begin selling Macs with its own processors in 2021.”

The Verge, Jon Porter, “Apple will reportedly use 12-core 5nm ARM processor in a 2021 Mac.”