Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on a series of its new custom Apple Silicon processors that will power new versions of the MacBook Pro, iMac, and the Mac Pro, set for release as early as next year.
Apple is reported to be working on several successors to its current M1 chip, which debuted in a new Mac mini, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air. The new chips are expected to significantly outperform the latest machines running Intel processors, say Bloomberg’s sources.
Chip engineers at the Cupertino, California-based technology giant are working on several successors to the M1 custom chip, Apple’s first Mac main processor that debuted in November. If they live up to expectations, they will significantly outpace the performance of the latest machines running Intel chips, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t yet public.
Apple’s M1 chip was unveiled in a new entry-level MacBook Pro laptop, a refreshed Mac mini desktop and across the MacBook Air range. The company’s next series of chips, planned for release as early as the spring and later in the fall, are destined to be placed across upgraded versions of the MacBook Pro, both entry-level and high-end iMac desktops, and later a new Mac Pro workstation, the people said.
Apple is working to complete its transition from Intel chips to its own Apple Silicon by the end of 2022.
The current M1 chip includes four high-performance processing cores and four power-saving cores. Apple’s next-generation Apple Silicon is said to boast as many as 16 power cores and four efficiency cores.
Apple is also reportedly testing a chip design that has as many as 32 high-performance cores to power high-end desktop computers that the Cupertino company has planned for later in 2021. A new half-sized Mac Pro is also expected to debut in 2022.
Apple is also said to be developing more ambitious graphics processors. While the current M1 chip sports either 7- or 8-core versions. The company is reportedly testing 16-core and 32-core graphics parts, with even more powerful custom graphics on the horizon, as Apple is reportedly working on 64 and 128 dedicated cores to be used in its highest-end Macs.
Apple could still hold off releasing these more powerful chips for less powerful versions of next year’s Macs, says Bloomberg’s sources. Possibilities include Macs powered by variations with only eight or 12 of the high-performance cores enabled depending on production. The report notes that chipmakers are sometimes forced to offer some models with lower specs, due to issues that rear their ugly heads during fabrication.