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A14 Bionic-based, 5 nm and 12-core MacBook arriving in 2021 as Apple starts to bring Mac processors in-house

ARM Macs could herald a paradigm shift in the laptop market. (Image source: Howard Bouchevereau, Unsplash)
ARM Macs could herald a paradigm shift in the laptop market. (Image source: Howard Bouchevereau, Unsplash)
It has been fifteen years since Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel processors. Now, the next paradigm shift is almost upon us, with Apple set to change to ARM processors from as early as 2021. Set to be based on an improved A14 chip, the first ARM-powered MacBook will supposedly exceed all performance expectations.
Alex Alderson,

Hinted at in his roundup of all things Apple, Mark Gurman has now published a report on Bloomberg claiming that Apple will pivot macOS to in-house processors from next year. As we covered last month, rumours about a wholesale transition for Apple to ARM-based chips is nothing new. Stretching back to 2011, Ming-Chi Kuo recently reignited the notion that Apple plans to move more hardware onto in-house chips. 

Now, Gurman has gone into specifics about the kind of chips with which Apple plans to kick off its move away from Intel. Citing "people familiar with the matter", Apple is developing three chips, the first of which will arrive in at least one Mac next year. Based on a 5 nm process, the first chip will be a customised A14 Bionic. The chip will feature twelve CPU cores split across two clusters, with eight performance and four efficiency cores. The resulting chip will be "much faster" than iPhone and iPad Bionic processors.

Known internally as project Kalamata, the chip will likely make its way into an entry-level MacBook. The move towards Mac hardware running in-house chips will not coincide with a more significant OS shift for Apple, though. Mac will continue to run macOS, but we may see Apple introduce an emulation layer as it did when it switched from PowerPC to Intel. Having more hardware running on similar architecture could make it easier for developers to port apps from iOS to macOS. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > A14 Bionic-based, 5 nm and 12-core MacBook arriving in 2021 as Apple starts to bring Mac processors in-house
Alex Alderson, 2020-04-23 (Update: 2020-04-23)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.