Apple is reportedly working on and testing a series of new ARM-based chips for the rest of its Mac product line. The news includes that the next Mac with Apple Silicon could be unveiled in the spring of 2021, while a new chip for a much smaller new Mac Pro might show up in the fall of 2021.
Up to 32 Cores
Apple’s intent on delivering a series of new Mac processors that are faster than Intel’s best processors. That might not be particularly hard to do given Intel’s various chip manufacturing problems and the already stunning performance of the new Apple Silicon M1 chip.
According to this Bloomberg report, Apple wants to be out of Intel by 2022. That suggests that the chip transition from Intel to Apple Silicon may come a bit faster than anticipated. When Apple made its last chip transition, that too went faster than expected.
The new Mac chip (SoC processor) would be used in the MacBook Pro, the consumer level and pro-level of the iMac, and the very exciting upcoming redux of the already stunning Mac Pro workstation. The current Mac Pro ships with as much as 28 cores, so a 32-core Apple Silicon chip would make an amazing advancement.
Bloomberg reports that the iMacs and MacBook Pro may feature up to 16 power cores and 4 efficiency cores. And they are also developing graphics processors slated to be several times more powerful than what Nvidia and AMD have supplied to Apple in Intel Macs.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
None of this is surprising. We are especially not surprised by the fact that Apple appears to be more ambitious than other analysis expected. Apple’s recent statements in various post-M1 interviews strongly suggest—if you are willing to read between the lines—that the company is being coy about its plans, which suggests the possibility that they have even bigger and more stunning unveilings in their future.
Apple is essentially moving its computer platform off the flatter trajectory of x86 processor performance onto the much steeper trajectory of ARM-based smartphone processors. This is the bigger point and shouldn’t be lost in the details over technical specifics and comparisons. Apple’s manufacturing partner, TSMC, is also road mapped for 3nm processors in a couple more years’ time.