Apple expects to start selling Mac computers with its own main processors by next year.
A new report from Bloomberg has been added to the previous ones, claiming that the Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on three of its own Mac systems-on-a-chips, based on the A14 processor in the next iPhone. The first of these will be much faster than the processors in the iPhone and iPad, according to the report. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Apple’s partner for iPhone and iPad processors, will build the new 5nm Mac chips.
The chips are designed by Apple, allowing the company to greater control over the performance of its devices and differentiate them from rivals.
The first Mac processors, codenamed Firestorm, are said to have eight high-performance cores, and at least four energy-efficient cores. Apple is also exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future. The SoCs are also said to have a GPU.
As the rest of the mobile semiconductor industry, Apple designs its smartphone chips with technology from Arm Inc. The same ARM architecture will also be used for the new Mac SoCs.
Despite a unified chip design, Macs will still run the macOS operating system, rather than the iOS software of the iPhone and iPad. Apple is exploring tools that will ensure apps developed for older Intel-based Macs still work on the new machines. The company also has technology called Catalyst that lets software developers build an iPad app and run it on Mac computers.
Apple is preparing to release at least one Mac with its own chip next year, the report says.
The iPhone maker has been long trying to lessen its reliance to chip supplier Intel.
Apple also aims to stop using Intel cellular modems, after using them for only four years. The company plans to use 5G modems from Qualcomm in as many as four new iPhone models later this year.
Apple last year acquired Intel’s modem business after striking the short-term supply deal with Qualcomm.