Desktop Apple silicon chips with higher power budgets are being readied for the upcoming higher-end MacBook Pro notebooks, all-in-one iMac desktops and the Mac Pro workstation.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is working on a series of system-on-a-chips designed to outperform the rest of the industry with as many as 32 performance cores. The upcoming chips will include silicon with up to 16 power cores and four efficiency cores, powering higher-end MacBook Pro models along with a redesigned iMac desktop, both of which are expected to drop in 2021. The iPhone maker could reportedly choose to first release variations with only eight or 12 of the high-performance cores enabled, sourced said.
The road map indicates Apple’s confidence that it can differentiate its products on the strength of its own engineering and is taking decisive steps to design Intel components out of its devices. The next two lines of Apple chips are also planned to be more ambitious than some industry watchers expected for next year. The company said it expects to finish the transition away from Intel and to its own silicon in 2022.
Furthermore, an ARM-based half-sized Mac Pro workstation featuring as many as 32 processing cores will follow in 2022.
Apple engineers are also developing more ambitious graphics processors. Today’s M1 processors are offered with a custom Apple graphics engine that comes in either 7- or 8-core variations. For its future high-end laptops and mid-range desktops, Apple is testing 16-core and 32-core graphics parts.
For later in 2021 or potentially 2022, Apple is working on pricier graphics upgrades with 64 and 128 dedicated cores aimed at its highest-end machines, the people said. Those graphics chips would be several times faster than the current graphics modules Apple uses from Nvidia and AMD in its Intel-powered hardware.
Intel won’t lose much in terms of revenue considering Apple is responsible for less than ten percent of the chip maker’s overall revenue. But repetitional damage will be immense.
Intel is considered the world’s leading chip maker, yet its top-performing chips may be outclassed significantly by Apple silicon within the next two years. The end result of all that will probably be a major shakeup in the semiconductor industry that will change many long-held assumptions. I think that Microsoft will need to accelerate its Windows on ARM plans so that computer vendors may build machines that could rival Apple silicon Macs.