In April of this year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple was planning to shift its Mac lineup to its own in-house chip away from Intel. That came true at WWDC when CEO Tim Cook announced a 2-year long transition to Apple Silicon for the entire Mac lineup.
While the transition was formally announced in June at WWDC, no new hardware followed the announcement and we were instead told to be on the lookout. Fast forward a few months, Apple revealed its first Apple Silicon chip called the M1 which it decided to put into the low-end 13-inch MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini.
Those news Macs have just begun to arrive to customers, alongside reviews and unboxing videos, and initial impressions are exceeding expectations. Geekbench after Geekbenhc the new chips outperform older Macs with Intel processors, despite being only Apple’s first attempt at its own Mac SoC. With that, people are already wondering what the future holds.
Luckily, when Bloomberg reported the transition back in April, the report did include a reference to a yet unreleased Apple Silicon chip with a total of 12-cores, from that older report:
The first Mac processors will have eight high-performance cores, codenamed Firestorm, and at least four energy-efficient cores, known internally as Icestorm. Apple is exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, the people said.
Ultimately, the M1 chip doesn’t have 8 high-performance cores, instead has 4-high performance cores and 4-high efficiency cores, nonetheless a 12-core chip is still in the work. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman today retweeted developer Steve Troughton-Smith which referenced the older report, confirming that a 12-core, 8 high-performance, and 4-high efficiency chip is still in the works.
Steve hypothetically questions if this chip is intended for higher-end iMac models, or the yet untouched 16-inch MacBook Pro, which remains under Intel’s rein in the lineup. The transition as a whole to Apple SIliocn will take two years according to the company, and there is no indication that new ARM Macs can be expected this year, but most likely in the 1st half of 2021.