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Report: Apple's ARM-Mac CPU Announcement Coming at WWDC

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is set to announce plans to move to its own CPU designs for Macs at WWDC, the week of June 22. The CPUs are said to be ARM-based, and manufactured by TSMC at the 5nm process.

This news does not come as a total surprise, as there have long been rumors of Apple developing its own CPU design so that it can reduce its reliance on Intel.

Apple’s motive to make itself more independent from Intel is thought to stem from Intel’s lack of progression in the CPU space. Apple has also had to follow Intel’s timing for its own laptop and desktop releases, which is why the Cupertino-based manufacturer is taking matters into its own hands. This comes after a 15-year partnership, prior to which Apple used PowerPC CPUs.

The new CPUs architecture will be licensed from ARM, allowing Apple to make changes to configure the silicon exactly to its liking. Per rumors from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the initial chips will feature up to 12 cores, split among eight high-performance cores and four energy-efficient ones.

However, the announcement from Apple is coming earlier than expected. Apple was initially expected to only launch ARM-based Macs in 2021, though that may still be the case for the first units to land in consumer’s hands. This could give developers time to natively compile apps for ARM.

Apple’s transition to its own processor designs is expected to take place in phases. Initially, mainstream and general-purpose, low-power devices are expected to receive the new silicon, with Intel still providing chips for high-end, power-hungry applications such as the Mac Pro’s used for editing. It is unclear when or whether Apple will also transition to its own CPUs in the high-end space.

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