Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on an internal project call Kalamata, which is to produce its own processors for future MacBooks. The Cupertino based firm is planning to shift its reliance from Intel to an in-house chip finally and plans to release at least one product based on it in early 2021. The company has long been struggling to maintain its MacBook standards in the market, as its partner Intel isn’t catching Apple’s pace in developments.
Picking TSMC as the new partner
Apple is making a big decision of finally switching away from Intel. It will now partner with TSMC, a semiconductor company based in Taiwan which already manufactures chips for iPhones and iPads. Though the news is out recently, Apple has been working on project Kalamata since 2018. The in-house engineers have already developed a Mac chip based on iPad Pro A12X processor, which gave confidence to the firm to switch away from Intel.
This could be a big blow for Intel, as the semiconductor company has been Apple’s supplier since Steve Jobs. And the products bases on Intel processors like Mac Pro (2006), MacBook Air 2nd gen (2010) and MacBook Pro (2012).
But, MacBooks, in recent years, aren’t that satisfying as there are no innovations from both Intel and Apple. Further, Intel’s manufacturing blocks were also a cause for declining MacBook sales and interest. However, switching to ARM-based processors is expected to reduce 40 to 60 percent processors cost for Apple.
ARM-based MacBook in 2021
Though shifting from Intel to own chips, MacBooks will still run on macOS. And this poses a problem in the transition from Intel architecture to ARM architecture. Apple’s decision of choosing an ARM, as in its phones, is a good one. But this transition is a real technical challenge for Apple. Microsoft in past had the same problem.
Though these developments are showing positive results, Apple may still decide to shift away from Intel gradually. It’ll set self-made processors in entry-level MacBooks initially but it still uses Intel chips for high-end MacBooks. And the ongoing pandemic has halted, and even shut some manufacturing houses across the world. This makes the process delay, and we may see Apple products with own its chips from mid-2021 onwards.
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