Apple is already designing the next two generations of Mac chips with up to 40 cores

Since it gives the new CEO of Intel the highest priority to win back Apple’s business, the iPhone maker is apparently developing a successor to the company’s first Mac chip, the M1.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • According to the information, Apple is working on the next two generations of Mac chips
  • The high-end model would use four semiconductor chips for up to 40 CPU cores
  • Some of the chips are manufactured on TSMC’s 3nm process technology
  • The top performing chips, which hit the market in 2023, will power Apple’s Mac Pro
  • Less powerful ones are used for MacBooks and other systems

Much more powerful Apple silicon Macs are coming in 2023

The Mac is switching from Intel technology to Apple’s in-house silicon. After the M1, its first Mac chip that powers several models like the Mac mini, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac, the company is now reportedly developing its successor.

Based on confidential information provided by three people with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans, The information reported that second and third generation Mac chips are expected to slightly outperform Intel’s future processors for consumer PCs.

Apple’s third generation of Mac processors – which, according to three people with direct knowledge of the projects, go by the code names Ibiza, Lobos and Palma – appear to be a particularly big step forward over the processors Intel is expected to ship at this point, analysts told The Information.

The second generation chips will be available as early as 2022, The Information has it all.

Author Wayne Ma adds that the chips coming in 2022 will be made using TSMC’s improved five-nanometer process, resulting in a relatively modest jump in CPU and GPU performance over current M1 brands.

In context, all versions of Apple’s Mac chips – the first M1 and its successors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max – are based on the first version of TSMC’s five-nanometer process. Read: How To Differentiate Between Apple Silicon And Intel Apps On Your Mac

Second-generation Apple silicon is to be followed by third-generation chips in 2023, which will bring a “much greater leap in performance”. As The Information has learned, Apple’s 2023 roadmap includes chips with two and four semiconductor dies, resulting in up to 40 processor cores. For comparison: the current M1 chip has eight CPU cores.

In the more powerful versions M1 Pro and M1 Max, these chips use ten processor cores. We can safely speculate that the updated Mac chips coming out in 2023 were designed for Apple’s top performing desktops, such as the flagship Mac Pro workstation that comes with a 28-core Intel Xeon W processor can be configured.

Less powerful versions of the 2023 chips will power upcoming Mac notebooks, The Information has learned, including the next 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro updates and a future MacBook Air coming with MagSafe support in 2022.

It will be interesting to see if the next Mac chips manage to widen the gap between Apple and Intel. One thing is certain: Without the actual chips for CPU and GPU benchmarks, we can only speculate about the CPU performance. But if one were to pursue the Apple M1, Apple will continue to leverage its node and architectural advantages to scale the design of the M1 even further than the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

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