The new 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.Image: lili sams/mashableBy Raymond Wong2018-04-02 18:30:30 UTC
Apple might screw Intel over… starting in 2020.
The tech company is reportedly planning to ditch Intel’s processors on its Macs and replace them with their own custom-designed chips, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The report, sourced from the well-sourced Mark Gurman, says Apple executives have greenlit the plan, codenamed “Kalamata.”
The switch is apparently part of a plan to make Macs, iPhones, and iPads work better together. When contacted by Mashable, Apple, of course, declined to comment on the matter.
Apple famously switched away from its PowerPC processors to Intel chips in 2006, thus making the underlying hardware more similar to that of PCs.
Intel chips opened the way for more software compatibility and eventually allowed even Windows to run on Macs when running special software, such as Bootcamp.
It’s been speculated for years that Apple might dump Intel processors in favor of its chips designed in-house.
Apple’s made great progress designing its own custom silicon for its iOS devices since it switched from generic ARM chips to its own designs in 2010, starting with the original iPad.
Since then, Apple’s A-series system-on-chips (SoC) have blown past the competition in terms of performance. Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 chip can’t even keep pace with Apple’s latest A11 Bionic chip.
Besides performance, there are a number of reasons why Apple would switch from Intel chips to its own silicon for Mac, including long-lasting battery life and faster wireless networking.
Imagine future Macs with a powerful Apple chip and co-processors like the W-series chips found in AirPods and T-series chips that keep macOS extra secure.
Switching to its own chips would also allow Apple to better control its own hardware roadmap; it wouldn’t need to wait on Intel to produce new chips for its own designs.
Apple’s rumored to be bringing iOS apps to the Mac via a project codnamed “Marzipan,” with an announcement possibly at WWDC in June. It’s unlikely we’ll hear more about Apple dumping Intel so soon, but the Mac may be in for a seismic shift in the future.
Intel’s stock dropped 7.79 percent at the time of this writing.