Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Bloomberg: Apple ARM transition aiming for 2021

Lengthy report from Mark Gurman, Debby Wu, and Ian King at Bloomberg about the timeline for Macs with Apple-designed chips:

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on three of its own Mac processors, known as systems-on-a-chip, 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, the people said.

So, no surprises here in that we’ve been talking about an ARM transition for a couple years now. What is new is that we’re getting to the point where specifics are being bandied about: that these new processors will be based on the A14, that they’ll use a 5nm production technique, and that they’ll feature a combination of eight high-performance cores and “at least” four energy-efficient cores. Bloomberg even reports on the project’s codename, “Kalamata.”

This all sounds good, and bodes well for future Mac performance and, hopefully, power efficiency. But it’s not without its challenges, the most significant of which right now is probably the current world environment: as the story points out, the situation with employees working from home and disruptions to the supply chain could push this back further.

Again, if the company is planning such a transition for next year, it will want to give developers some lead time to figure this out. But, it also wouldn’t be a surprise if Apple decides to hold off on announcing the transition at this year’s WWDC, if only to allow for flexibility in this volatile global situation.

Personally, the good news for me is that not leaving the house means I haven’t needed to replace my MacBook Air yet, so maybe by the time we are ready to head back out into the world, an ARM-based MacBook won’t seem so far off.

—Linked by Dan Moren

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