First Mac to Use Apple’s Custom ARM-Based Processor Said to Arrive in H2 2021
While we would have been thrilled to see a Mac powered by Apple’s custom ARM-based processor in 2020. However, news surrounding the release of this product has been pushed to next year. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the famed Apple analyst, the first-ever Mac to sport this internal change is said to arrive during the second half of 2021.
Apple’s Custom ARM-Based Processor Could Use the Advanced 5nm Architecture for the Mac
Kuo provided no crucial information surrounding the ARM-powered Mac, but MacRumors reports the following concerning Apple’s product launch timeline.
“We expect that Apple’s new products in 12–18 months will adopt processors made by 5nm process, including the new 2H20 5G iPhone, new 2H20 iPad equipped with mini LED, and new 1H21 Mac equipped with the own-design processor. We think that iPhone 5G support, iPad’s adoption of innovative mid-size panel technology, and Mac’s first adoption of the own-design processor are all Apple’s critical product and technology strategies. Given that the processor is the core component of new products, we believe that Apple had increased 5nm-related investments after the epidemic outbreak. Further, Apple occupying more resources of related suppliers will hinder competitors’ developments.”
Apple’s A14 Bionic is said to be made on the advanced 5nm FinFET architecture, with a previous report stating that it might be powerful enough to overtake Intel’s 6-core mobile processors found in power-hungry notebooks. After all, if the 2018 iPad Pro’s A12X Bionic is powerful enough to almost match the scores of Intel’s 6-core CPU found in the 2018 MacBook Pro, then we can only expect better things from the ARM-based Mac that will probably use the same 5nm node as the Apple-designed silicon for different products.
To help reach its plan, Apple has made a series of aggressive moves. Firstly, the technology giant recruited an ARM CPU designer earlier, while also employing a dedicated team to make this transition as early as possible. It’s also possible Apple was motivated thanks to the lack of Intel’s progress back in 2016. A report came out stating that Intel didn’t have a sufficient batch of 7th-generation chips, or Kaby Lake processors remaining for Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro family. Thanks to this setback, the company was forced to use Intel’s 6th-generation, or Skylake chips during a time when its notebook competitors were already selling machines with Intel’s latest and greatest silicon.
Whether this rumored attitude of Intel was the reason behind Apple’s motivation to start using ARM-based processors in future Macs, we can’t confirm. All we can say right now is that we’ll have to wait until H2 2021 to find out more, so stay tuned.