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Report: Apple's ARM-Mac CPU Announcement Coming at WWDC

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According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is set to announce plans to move to its own CPU designs for Macs at WWDC, the week of June 22. The CPUs are said to be ARM-based, and manufactured by TSMC at the 5nm process.

This news does not come as a total surprise, as there have long been rumors of Apple developing its own CPU design so that it can reduce its reliance on Intel. 

Apple's motive to make itself more independent from Intel is thought to stem from Intel's lack of progression in the CPU space. Apple has also had to follow Intel's timing for its own laptop and desktop releases, which is why the Cupertino-based manufacturer is taking matters into its own hands. This comes after a 15-year partnership, prior to which Apple used PowerPC CPUs.

The new CPUs architecture will be licensed from ARM, allowing Apple to make changes to configure the silicon exactly to its liking. Per rumors from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the initial chips will feature up to 12 cores, split among eight high-performance cores and four energy-efficient ones.

However, the announcement from Apple is coming earlier than expected. Apple was initially expected to only launch ARM-based Macs in 2021, though that may still be the case for the first units to land in consumer's hands. This could give developers time to natively compile apps for ARM.

Apple's transition to its own processor designs is expected to take place in phases. Initially, mainstream and general-purpose, low-power devices are expected to receive the new silicon, with Intel still providing chips for high-end, power-hungry applications such as the Mac Pro's used for editing. It is unclear when or whether Apple will also transition to its own CPUs in the high-end space.

  • nofanneeded
    Stupid Move Apple , the success behind macbook was the brilliant move to intel ... now what exactly ? lack of software again ? Apple ?
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    nofanneeded said:
    Stupid Move Apple , the success behind macbook was the brilliant move to intel ... now what exactly ? lack of software again ? Apple ?
    I don't know that the Intel chips were the primary cause of success, but at the time there weren't many other options. Problem with shifting to ARM is that dual-booting Windows is no longer possible (Windows on ARM maybe?), but then I don't know that many MacBook users actually care about Windows support. The real question is going to be performance and app compatibility -- if Apple can get both of those things right, the lack of an x86 CPU may be a non-issue. And Apple would love to get away from Intel CPUs and AMD/Nvidia GPUs if it can do so.
    Reply
  • bwohl
    I see both points of view -
    If they still had PowerPC chips, most IT depts wouldn't let them in the door. Most people, even professionals, think it crazy to shell out $2500 of their own personal money for a MacBook. But if the company would spring for it, they are all in...
    Our Predictive Modeling team wanted them, so I bought one first as always. :)
    Dual booting to Windows and gaming on it is the first thing I do to new MacBooks when a new model comes out - an executive gets my old one. ;)
    Reply
  • Shadowclash10
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    I don't know that the Intel chips were the primary cause of success, but at the time there weren't many other options. Problem with shifting to ARM is that dual-booting Windows is no longer possible (Windows on ARM maybe?), but then I don't know that many MacBook users actually care about Windows support. The real question is going to be performance and app compatibility -- if Apple can get both of those things right, the lack of an x86 CPU may be a non-issue. And Apple would love to get away from Intel CPUs and AMD/Nvidia GPUs if it can do so.
    Actually, there are a lot of people who depend on Bootcamp. For example, Bloomberg. Mike Bloomberg really likes Macs, so the company laptops are all Macbooks (except HR). However, Bloomberg's main product, the Terminal, runs on Windows. So basically everyone in Bloomberg depends on Bootcamp.
    Reply
  • daworstplaya
    nofanneeded said:
    Stupid Move Apple , the success behind macbook was the brilliant move to intel ... now what exactly ? lack of software again ? Apple ?

    ^This!
    Reply
  • Jalapenoman
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    I don't know that the Intel chips were the primary cause of success, but at the time there weren't many other options. Problem with shifting to ARM is that dual-booting Windows is no longer possible (Windows on ARM maybe?), but then I don't know that many MacBook users actually care about Windows support. The real question is going to be performance and app compatibility -- if Apple can get both of those things right, the lack of an x86 CPU may be a non-issue. And Apple would love to get away from Intel CPUs and AMD/Nvidia GPUs if it can do so.
    Dual-booting Windows 10 should still be possible! There is a version that runs on ARM chips and can even emulate X86 apps. I have had the chance to see a device running this version of Windows 10 in person. It was on a Samsung tablet.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    I don't know that the Intel chips were the primary cause of success, but at the time there weren't many other options. Problem with shifting to ARM is that dual-booting Windows is no longer possible (Windows on ARM maybe?), but then I don't know that many MacBook users actually care about Windows support. The real question is going to be performance and app compatibility -- if Apple can get both of those things right, the lack of an x86 CPU may be a non-issue. And Apple would love to get away from Intel CPUs and AMD/Nvidia GPUs if it can do so.

    The Lack of many important software on Apple made people avoid it for a very long time until the smart move to switch to intel.

    Just one example , MS Project , there is no alternative what so ever for it , and My work demands using it (and Primavera before it) ... and many other business software that Apple is lazy to convince software houses to code it for their System.

    More Over , many people who wanted Apple products badly and still wanted to game on PC , but could not afford to buy two PCs , the Move to intel made People happy about it and they started Gaming on MACS and at the same time Enjoying Apple exclusive software no one can match .

    Also hardware compatibility improved alot , in the past , very very very few hardware accessories were made compatible with Apple and had the Apple Logo on it. After They moved to intel , almost all hardware worked on Apple products even if there was no official support from Apple for it ... because it just works it is the same hardware .

    Thunderbolt will disappear as well and will be again replaced by stupid Apple interface for sure that will make external drives AGAIN more expensive and less available from all vendors.

    and I dont think ARM will beat any CPU in the high end 32-64 cores running at 3+Ghz each cores ... ARM is way behind .. they are good and compete only in low voltage market ...

    The GPU department also , Apple wont be able to catch up with AMD and nvidia new GPU , their integrated Graphics is a joke compared to the dedicated cards ...
    Reply