Apple to show in-house Mac processor at WWDC this month?

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 10 2020 @ 13:29 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Bloomberg claims Apple may be ready to reveal the next big thing for Mac at its WWDC event the week of June 22. After years of rumors about a shift from Intel x86 processors to the ARM platform, rumors have been intensifying this year that Apple will roll out the first steps in 2021.

Said to be codenamed Kalamata, this project's goal is to make Apple's Mac computers run on ARM. While there are a lot of hurdles to achieve this, there are a lot of benefits for Apple as it would cut reliance on external suppliers like Intel. A shift to internally developed ARM-based chips gives Apple the ability to develop its own roadmap, and to come up with unique features and more tightly integrated hardware.

It will be the first time in the 36-year history of Mac that Apple makes its own processors. While the company has been doing this for some time now for its mobile devices, computers are more challenging due to the existing ecosystem as well as the need for higher performance. In the early 1990s, Apple switched from Motorola to PowerPC, and in 2005, Steve Jobs shook up things by switching from PowerPC to Intel x86 CPUs.

The news agency says Apple will likely make the announcement later this month to give developers time to adjust:
The company is holding WWDC the week of June 22. Unveiling the initiative, codenamed Kalamata, at the event would give outside developers time to adjust before new Macs roll out in 2021, the people said. Since the hardware transition is still months away, the timing of the announcement could change, they added, while asking not to be identified discussing private plans.
The move to ARM will be gradual, it's reportedly Apple's intention to move even its highest-performing Macs to ARM. Bloomberg claims internal Apple tests show big performance gains over Intel-based Macs, especially in graphics performance and AI tasks. Furthermore, the Apple-made ARM-based chips are said to be more energy-efficient:
Inside Apple, tests of new Macs with the Arm-based chips have shown sizable improvements over Intel-powered versions, specifically in graphics performance and apps using artificial intelligence, the people said. Apple’s processors are also more power-efficient than Intel’s, which may mean thinner and lighter Mac laptops in the future.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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