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ARMs Race | Apple working on high end Apple Silicon chips for MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro



A recent report from Bloomberg delivers more insider details on the unannounced Apple Silicon M1’s more powerful siblings that will replace the Intel chips insider the 16-inch MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro models. We recently reported on a Bloomberg report that Apple is designing a new Mac Pro with a half-sized form factor. A half-sized Mac Pro, a redesigned iMac and 16-inch MacBook Pro would be the fresh designs we reported on recently.

The new form factor is said to be “about half the size of the current model and will retain a similar design. We know that all Macs will eventually transition to Apple Silicon, so it seems this size change with coincide with the transition to a more powerful Apple Silicon Chip. According to people familiar with the matter, the new more-powerful Apple Silicon chips “will significantly outpace the performance of the latest machines running Intel chips.”

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.

Mark Gurman and Ian Key via Bloomberg

While the current A14 and M1 chips are mobile-centric and designed with four high-performance cores for intensive tasks like video editing, there are also 4 power efficiency cores for less intensive tasks when needed.

What Apple Silicon chip will power the new MacBook Pro, iMac & Mac Pro?

Bloomberg’s reporting says “Apple is working on designs with as many as 16 power cores and four efficiency cores. That configuration is most likely for the iMac and Mac Pro models, whereas the 8-12 high performance core enabled model we previously reported on would likely be for the next-gen 16-inch MacBook Pro. The first of the three Apple Silicon chips will be a 12-core processor with a unique mix of eight high performance cores called “Firestorm” cores and four energy efficient core called “Icestorm” cores. There is a clear Fire & Ice reference here that also relates to the cores that will be hotter and cooler. Apple is said to already be working Apple Silicon with more than 12 cores with the company designing second-generation processors for Macs based on the future unannounced M1X/M2 chip.

Apple engineers are developing higher performance GPU’s with 16-core and 32-core configurations in testing, says Bloomberg. They go on to say that GPU upgrades could reach 64-core and 128-core configurations in its high-end machines by 2021 or 2022.

One thing is for sure, there are going to be a lot of used Intel-powered Macs on Ebay and Amazon next year. Stay tuned to the ARM’s Race editorial series for coverage of Apple’s Silicon developments and more.



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