Apple to design its own processors, TSMC handling production

A new report shows that Macs are more vulnerable to malware than PCs for the first time ever.

April 23—Apple will outfit its 2021 Mac computers with processors designed in-house and produced via the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC), reports Bloomberg. The Big Tech firm is basing its new CPUs on the A14, the system-on-a-chip (SoC) that will power its 2021 iPhones.

The corporation has utilized Intel made computing components in its PCs since 2005.

Why Apple Wants to Make Its Own Computer Processors

According to Bloomberg, Apple is developing its own computer processors because of dissatisfaction with the rate of Intel’s output. The Silicon Valley giant believes it would have generated greater revenue if it released new, more powerful Macs annually.

In response, Apple launched a project codenamed Kalamata to design its own Mac processors. Two years ago, the firm’s engineers built an SoC based on the iPad Pro’s A12X that gave its leadership confidence they could begin making their own computer CPUs.

Apple ended its mobile device modem supply agreement with Intel last April and made a new deal with Qualcomm. The company did so in part because the San Diego chipmaker’s components offered a higher degree of performance. Subsequently, Intel exited the handset connectivity business, and Apple purchased its smartphone assets for $1 billion.

Apple’s Mac Processor Details

Apple is reportedly developing three A14-based Mac CPUs that will offer higher computing power than its next-generation iPhones and iPads. TSMC, the electronics maker’s mobile device chipset manufacturer, will utilize its 5nm fabrication methodology to produce the components. The Cupertino, California-based corporation’s first PC processors will feature eight cores, with four dedicated to complicated tasks and the other four handling low-power functions.

The iPhone maker is also working on a 12-core chipset to power its future Mac products.

By bringing its computer CPU design in-house, Apple can bring greater unity to its ecosystem and product rollouts. In the future, the corporation will be able to attune the processor development cycles for its computers, smartphones, and tablets. That said, the company does not intend to leave its existing customer base behind; it is taking steps to ensure applications designed in the Intel era will work on its new machines.

A New Trend?

Notably, Apple is not the only Big Tech firm to bring its processor development in-house.

Last month, Axios reported Google made an agreement with Samsung to produce its self-designed smartphone and laptop CPUs. The corporation plans to debut its 8-core, 5nm chipset in the 2021 iteration of its Pixel handset, which previously featured Qualcomm chipset.

In addition, Intel showed off a flexible hybrid hardware concept called Horseshoe Bend at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The chipmaker teamed with an OEM to craft the Windows 10 powered device, which can function as a 17.3-inch tablet or a 12-inch laptop.

In light of these developments, the electronics landscape could be in for a major paradigm shift this decade. If nothing else, consumers would benefit from having the option to buy fully integrated laptops, smartphones, and tablets made by some of the world’s foremost technology companies.


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