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Apple's first ARM Mac could arrive in 2021 and can be surprisingly fast

Despite changing product releases and delayed coronavirus launches, Apple appears to be still on track to deliver its first ARM-based Mac in 2021, according to a new Bloomberg report.

According to Mark Gurman, Apple is working on a trio of processors for Mac, all based on the design of the upcoming A14 chip in the iPhone 12. The project, codenamed Kalamata, has been ongoing since 2012, when Apple developed its first Mac chip based on the iPad Pro's A12X processor, according to the report.

Earlier rumors suggested that Apple may be launching its first ARM-based Mac later this year.

Note that the A1

4 chip is rumored to be designed with a 5nm process versus Intel's current 14nm process. A smaller production process will allow Apple to offer chips that are both more powerful and efficient, which can make for a dramatic leap in Apple's lower Macs.

Bloomberg states that the first Mac computer processors will have eight high-performance cores and at least four energy-efficient cores, codenamed Firestorm and Icestorm, respectively, a huge boost over the 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor in the recently updated MacBook Air . In Geekbench benchmarking scores, for example, the latest iPad Pro's A13Z processor is far faster than the MacBook Air in multi-core tasks.

Apple is likely to begin the transition with a new laptop, Bloomberg reports, since the first chips “won 't compete with the performance Intel provides for high-end MacBook Pros, iMac and the modular Mac Pro. "Any new devices will probably still run the MacOS operating system, and Gurman notes that Apple" is exploring tools that will ensure that apps designed for older Intel-based Macs still work on the machines. "

Most recently, Apple moved away from 32-bit Mac apps and launched a framework called Catalyst that allows iOS developers to port their applications to the Mac. Apple's latest transition to Intel processors was completed in 2006.

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