As from next year, Apple Inc. plans to begin manufacturing main processors to be used in future Mac computers that will start shipping next year too. The company is hoping that the success of the CPU and GPU chips will follow the success that followed the iPhone and iPad devices. Inside sources said the architecture of the proposed processors will be based on the A14 model known as systems-on-a-chip.
The strategic plan to launch numerous chips has been code-named Kalamata by the Cupertino, California-based technology company. While Apple has largely been using chips manufactured by Intel Corp, the plan to start manufacturing its own chips means that Intel will be losing a major tech customer for decades to come. And a mark of seriousness, Apple is looking forward to releasing a Mac device with its own company-made processor in 2021.
Company sources who pleaded to remain anonymous revealed that Apple will be outsourcing the manufacture of the proposed chips to a semiconductor manufacturing company in Taiwan. The Taiwanese company is an Apple partner for many processors used in its iPhone and iPad devices. The new processors to be outsourced to this company will be modeled on the 5-nanometer architecture that Apple is planning to use for its next iPhones and iPad Pros.
According to tech analysts, Apple will achieve greater control of its app ecosystem by determining the performance of its devices when the company begins to design and build its own unique processors. This development will lessen the company’s reliance on Intel which has begun to suffer reduced market patronage and chip performance over the years. In fact, Apple blames Intel for not being able to upgrade many of its devices over the years, leading to declined Mac sales.
While the latest iPad Pro from Apple has eight cores or processing units – four to execute high workloads and four to carry low-power tasks, the newly proposed chips to be manufactured by the company will have more than 12 cores for future devices. The new Mac processors are aimed at having eight high-performance processing units and four energy-efficient units – known internally as Firestorm and Icestorm respectively. Incidentally, the current entry-level processing units produced by Intel for the MacBook Air are two.
As much as Apple is planning to release Macs with its own cores by next year, the launch could be delayed given the disruptions occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic in Asia supply chains. Furthermore, the plan would require intensive collaboration between Apple’s software, hardware, and chips-sourcing teams.