Apple’s M-Series Mac Roadmap Leaks

Posted on December 8, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Mac and macOS with 27 Comments

A report citing multiple sources says that Apple’s next-generation M-series Mac chips are due in 2021 and could outperform Intel’s fastest microprocessors.

The report, in Bloomberg, notes that the new chips will improve on today’s M1 chipset, which targets low-end Macs like the Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and entry-level MacBook Pro. That chipset features 8 CPU cores, split evenly between high-performance and efficiency cores. But the new chips will be much more ambitious, Bloomberg claims.

There will be two new M-series chips in 2021, according to this report.

The first will feature 16 high-performance cores, four times the number in the M1, and four efficiency cores and will target next-generation MacBook Pro and iMac models. (It may ship with as few as 8 or 12 high-performance CPU cores based on fabrication success.)

The second, planned for late 2021 and aimed at the Mac Pro, will feature as many as 32 high-performance cores. That Mac Pro will be half the size of today’s version, Bloomberg says, and may not arrive until early 2022, when Apple is expected to complete its transition away from Intel-based Macs.

Apple will also improve the graphics subsystem in these future M-series chipsets, though Bloomberg is a bit vaguer on this topic. Where the M1 offers 8 integrated GPU cores, future M-series chips that target higher-end Macs could ship with 16-core and 32-core graphics parts, it says, plus “pricier graphics upgrades with 64 and 128 dedicated cores aimed at its highest-end machines” that may ship by 2022.

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