Apple’s shift from Intel to ARM-based chips could soon be a reality. According to the latest research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors, Apple is planning to launch ‘several’ Mac notebooks and desktops in 2021.
As per the report, Kuo believes using ARM-based chips on Macs would reduce processor costs by 40 to 60 percent. It will also help Apple finetune their product launch cycle as they will no longer have to rely on Intel’s processor roadmap.
The report further hints that ASMedia Technology will be in charge of supplying USB controllers for these new Macs. Macs will reportedly use USB4 in 2022, the standard that got announced in September last year. For starters, USB4 offers up to 40 Gbps transfer speeds, supports USB power delivery, and is compatible with Thunderbolt 3. You can read all about USB4 and its differences between USB3 in our comparison here.
It is worth noting this is not the first time we’re hearing about ARM Macbooks. Last month, Kuo predicted that the first ARM-based MacBooks would launch in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2021.
Apple’s plans about ARM-based MacBooks were first reported by Bloomberg back in January 2018. That report suggests Apple may be working on at least three new Mac models, including two MacBooks and one iMac, with integrated ARM-based custom co-processors.
Switching to ARM-based processors could result in better power efficiency in Macs since ARM’s architecture mainly focuses on mobile devices. In fact, using Apple’s in-house ARM chips would also give them more control over hardware/software optimization to attain a sweet spot without compromising on performance and power efficiency, as it does with iPhones and iPads.