Apple to Unveil 12-Core ARM Mac in 2021, Spelling Trouble for Intel

Apple plans to sell the 2021 Macs with its own processors, marking the long-awaited transition from Intel to ARM-based processors, as reported by Bloomberg.

Expected to be embedded within a lower-priced Mac, the new processors will use the A14 system-on-a-chip design – the same chip that will be used to power the next generation iPhone.

The A-series ARM-based processors found in iPads and iPhones have been a hint of the company’s desire to move away from Intel, who provides Apple chips for Macs. But as ARM processors generate less heat consequently perform better than Intel in lower end Macs, it still hasn’t quite cracked the issues with its inability to outperform Intel processors in higher-end iMacs, MacBook Pros, and Mac Pro desktops.

But is moving all in Apple with its own chips to gain an upper hand in the supply chain and greater control over the performance of its chips. Case in point is Apple’s concerns about Intel’s inability to ship processor upgrades at a faster pace.

The new 5nm A14 processor will be manufactured by Apple‘s partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and is reported to pack up to 80% more transistors than the 7nm A13 chip found in the iPhone 11, meaning a faster chip and improved performance.

Although this news wasn’t unexpected, it has still put pressure on Intel with the company’s share price declining up to 2.2% on Thursday. In a note to investors, Brad Gastwirth, the chief technology strategist at Wedbush Securities noted that “This news has negative longer-term implications for Intel, in-line with our concerns around Intel’s future market share.“

Apple has also unveiled plans to use 12 core CPUs that include eight high-performance cores, codenamed Firestorm, and at least four energy-efficient cores, which not surprisingly is codenamed Icestorm.

Does this signal a better value for your Apple purchases? We can’t be so sure yet, but it might just mean more frequent upgrades and improvements to the performance of your investment, which is a long time coming.

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