According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is readying a Mac with upcoming ARM architecture based A14 SoC for 2021 launch. It claims Apple is working on up to 3 Mac prototypes with the ARM architecture. The processor used on these, machines will be derivatives of the upcoming A14 SoC that will be powering the iPhone 12 lineup. But the design will be tweaked to ensure the chipset is capable of power-hungry handling tasks.
One of the chipsets might have up to eight high-performance cores of codename, Firestorm and a minimum of four low-power core codenamed Icestorm for power efficiency. Other designs might as well cross the twelve core mark. In comparison, the A13 Bionic Chipset powering the iPhone 11 Series has six cores and still manages to lead the performance chart with a very healthy margin.
TSMC has been awarded the manufacturing contract of these chipsets, and the architecture will be based on the 5nm node. The unit will have a system-on-chip design with CPU, GPU on a single module like the chipsets usually seen on smartphones.
Apple will ready the MacOS in time to be compatible with the ARM-based SoCs and request developers to port their programs from x86 Intel framework to the ARM instruction set. The Catalyst feature from the company currently allows developers to port iOS apps to macOS and Apple can tweak it to ensure reverse compatibility as well.
During the iPhone 11 Series launch event, Apple claimed that the A13 Bionic chipset is powerful enough to run Macs. It indicates their interest in popularizing ARM-based Macs before the competition catches up. Currently, Qualcomm is pushing Snapdragon SoCs in Windows laptops promising 10 hours of battery life and better thermal efficiency without the need of a fan. Apple could lead the market with already popular MacBooks running on A14 SoC offering longer battery life and even slimmer build with inbuild LTE connectivity.