A report from Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources with direct knowledge of the matter, claims that Apple's next step to bringing ARM chips to the masses will consist of new CPUs that span up to 32 cores to supplant Intel's Xeon processors in the company's Mac Pro desktops. That move follows Apple's decision to stop using Intel processors in its future products. Apple is also reportedly developing two GPUs with 64 and 128 dedicated cores, a move obviously designed to replace AMD's discrete GPUs in both its mobile and desktop PCs.
Apple's inaugural ARM-powered M1 chips come with four high-performance and four lower-performance efficiency cores, which allowed the company to replace Intel processors in its MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini lineups. With a stated plan to switch its entire lineup to its own silicon, Apple still has the task of replacing the Intel Xeon W processors it currently uses in its higher-end MacPro desktops. Bloomberg reports that Apple is developing a new 32-core model with high-performance cores for just that task, but it is unclear if those cores will be accompanied by efficiency cores as well. These chips could roll out later in 2021.
Apple is also said to be developing next-gen chips with 16 high-performance cores paired with four efficiency cores (20 total cores). Additionally, the company is developing CPUs with either 8 or 12 high-performance cores accompanied by four efficiency cores, signalling that the company plans for a full product stack of ARM processors with multiple options. These processors could begin rolling out as soon as spring 2021 for the MacBook Pro and iMac.
The new 32-core high-end chips will replace Intel's (up to) 28-core Xeon W chips that currently power Apple's workstations, but will still far short of AMD's beastly 64-core Threadripper models. Although Apple hasn't used AMD's Threadripper chips in its workstations, Apple may still trail AMD in performance while matching or exceeding Intel's current crop of chips.
Apple's M1 chips also heralded the arrival of the company's own seven- and eight-core GPUs, but it is also reportedly developing 16- and 32-core GPUs for its high-end laptops and mid-range desktops.
Additionally, Apple is also developing 64- and 128-core GPU models for its highest-end PCs. These new GPUs are said to be several times faster than the AMD GPUs Apple uses in its current products, portending a severing of ties with AMD for future Apple PCs.
The new 64- and 128-core graphics chips are expected to debut "later in 2021 or potentially 2022."