For years, it has been rumored that Apple was considering moving away from using Intel’s processors to their own custom creations based on the ARM architecture. It looks like those rumors have finally been proven true because at WWDC 2020, Apple has officially confirmed that they will be moving away from Intel’s processors to their own custom Apple silicon.
The name of the chipset that Apple will be using has yet to be named, but it seems that it will be based on the same (or similar) chipset the company uses for its iPhones and iPads. This is because Apple is offering developers a chance to use a Developer Transition Kit which is basically a Mac mini that is powered by the A12Z Bionic chipset. The A12Z made its debut earlier this year in the 2020 iPad Pro refresh.
Exact specifications of Apple’s custom silicon is unclear and we’re not sure what kind of clock speeds we might be looking at, but according to Apple, the company’s custom chipsets will apparently be capable of handling “pro” applications and will also be “great” for games, whatever that means.
The good news is that we won’t have to wait too long to find out how well the company’s custom chipset handles. This is because Apple has announced that the first Mac computers that will feature the use of the new hardware will be released by the end of the year (previous rumors suggested that it could come in the form of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and a redesigned iMac), and they expect to complete the transition across their Mac computers over the next two years.
It will be interesting to see how well Apple’s chipsets will handle against Intel-based computers (or x86 processors in general). It will also be interesting to see how the company will deal with app compatibility, and how many developers will be bothered to port their apps over to be compatible with the new hardware. Apple has noted that they have developed all the native apps in macOS Big Sur with Apple silicon in mind, including apps such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro.
They are also touting that it will be easy for developers to make their apps compatible with Apple silicon, especially if they have used Xcode where all they will need to do is recompile it and they should be good to go. While all of this sounds promising, only time will tell if Apple’s gamble to move away from Intel will pay off.