Apple plans to launch several Mac notebook and desktop computers powered by Apple-designed ARM-based processors in 2021, says Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a research note shared by MacRumors, Kuo said he believes that making the move to the ARM processor will significantly enhance the advantage of the Mac lineup.
Such a move would allow Apple to schedule its Mac lineup refreshes based on an in-house timeline, without relying on Intel’s processor roadmap. Kuo says it would also reduce processor costs by 40 to 60% as well as providing more hardware differentiation from Windows PCs.
Kuo earlier this month predicted Apple’s first ARM-based processors will launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021.
Kuo also says Taiwanese integrated circuit designer ASMedia Technology will likely be the exclusive supplier of USB controllers for the ARM-based Macs, adding that the new Macs will gain support for USB4 in 2022.
USB4 is based on Thunderbolt 3 and offers transfer speeds of up to 40Gb/s (twice the current 20Gb/s maximum) and backward compatibility with USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3. The specification supports up to two 4K displays or one 5K display over a single cable.
The USB4 specification was published in September 2019.