Apple’s new ARM processor to power 2021 Mac

Apple’s work on its own ARM processor is progressing smoothly and the chip is set to feature in a Mac device for the first time next year, according to a new Bloomberg report.

The development of an in-house ARM CPU to replace the Intel chips that have featured in the iMac and MacBook line has been rumoured for some time now, but the latest news reveals some fresh details.

Apple is believed to be working on three Mac processors in total under a project titled ‘Kalamata’.

The processors are an offshoot of the A14 processor that will power the next batch of mobile devices, including the hotly anticipated iPhone 12.

Bloomberg says that the new processors will be particularly powerful as at least one will pack in a 12-core CPU with ‘Firestorm’ and ‘Icestorm’ cores to deliver cutting-edge performance and energy efficiency.

Moving forward, Apple wants the development cycle of the new laptop chips to lock in step with mobile CPUs.

Apple has no plans to bring iOS to laptops though as the new processor will still power devices that run macOS.

The move to an in-house chip marks a departure from the Intel-based machines that have featured in Apple’s devices since the first-gen Macintosh was released in early 2006.

Apple wants greater control over the components in Macs and expects the development of ARM chips to cut its costs by up to 60%.

However, Intel chips won’t be phased out entirely straight away.

Bloomberg reports that the first machines with ARM processors will be low powered, which means that the MacBook Air may be the first to be updated.

This is because ARM cannot yet match Intel in terms of performance, which is crucial for the Mac Pro and other high-end devices.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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