In June, Apple announced that it was migrating its Mac computers from Intel x86 processors to its own ARM-based chips. According to the company, this process will begin this year, and will be fully completed in 2022 (that is, the entire family of computers, including the Mac Pro, will be transferred to their own processors). According to one of the informants, the first chip will be a powerful enough 12-core solution.
The presence of twelve CPU cores in the first single-chip Apple ARM system was announced by an informant from Twitter under the nickname a_rumors0000… Unfortunately, since Apple’s dedicated A-series chips include both high-performance and energy-efficient CPU cores (as with most high-end mobile processors), it’s unclear exactly what configuration this chip will be. It is also unknown what Apple will name this processor.
However, it was rumored earlier that the 12-core chip will include 8 fast and 4 energy efficient cores. At the same time, the first product in which the new crystal is supposed to be used will allegedly be a 13-inch MacBook Pro, and sales of such a system will begin in the fourth quarter of 2020. The whistleblower also did not say what performance to expect from the 12-core chip, but previous benchmarks may provide some insight.
Tests of the Mac mini based on the A12Z Bionic (4 powerful and 4 energy efficient cores) showed that even this last-generation mobile processor runs software quite tolerably well, including through the Apple Rosetta 2 emulator. It outperforms the processor underlying the Surface Pro X, and the built-in in the A12Z Bionic, the graphics bypass the corresponding Ryzen 5 4500U and Core i7-1065G7 controllers in the OpenCL benchmarks.
This could mean that Apple’s next-generation 12-core processor (theoretically manufactured at 5nm) will be able to offer excellent computing and graphics performance. Let’s also hope that Apple will be able to further increase the autonomy of laptops compared to counterparts based on Intel processors. Autumn promises to be interesting!
According to other rumors, TSMC will be engaged in the production of Apple processors for the Mac, and the latter expects a serious increase in orders in the second half of 2021. At WWDC, the company revealed that a number of major software developers are already ready to release versions of their applications that work directly with ARM chips. The rest of the programs will have to work with the fairly efficient Rosetta 2 emulator (the old one, Rosetta 1, was created during the transition from IBM PowerPC processors to Intel x86). Of course, a new operating system will also be required – macOS 11.0 Big Sur, which will end the OS X era.
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