Rumour has it that the first Apple Silicon Mac could be the 12” MacBook. This follows Apple’s announcement that it will switch from Intel to its ARM-based processors during WWDC 2020. According to Apple, the first model is due to ship by the end of the year, though it did not reveal which model. So take these rumours with a pinch of salt.
According to the report, which appeared in the China Times, the rumoured 12” MacBook with Retina Display is expected to use a new Apple-designed A14X Bionic processor, codenamed Tonga. The new processor is said to be manufactured using chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC) 5nm process. TSMC is currently the only supplier of Apple’s A-series chips.
To ensure TSMC has sufficient supply to meet Apple’s needs, it was suggested by TSMC employees or consultants, that the Cupertino company required the Taiwanese chipmaker to cease making chips for Huawei HiSilicon.
But apart from developments around Apple’s CPUs, the report also hints that Apple could be making its own GPU, codenamed Lifuka, and it is making good progress. The current batch of Mac computers with Intel CPUs usually come equipped with Huida or AMD GPUs. Industry insiders are saying that Apple cancelled support for AMD GPUs in the future macOS Arm 64-bit operating system, paving the way for Apple’s in-house GPU.
The new Lifuka GPU is reported to provide better performance per watt and higher computing performance. It is said to use tile-based deferred rendering technology that allows application developers to write more powerful professional apps and games.
It is stated that Apple wanted to switch to its self-developed chips in order to allow for greater performance gains and power savings. This would also permit Apple to focus more on power efficiency for its portable Macs. The report claims that due to the low power consumption of ARM processors, the new MacBook may have a battery life of between 15 – 20 hours.
With all that being said, the usual caveats apply that though suppliers know what they are making for Apple, they don’t always know how these components will be used. But the prospect of a 12” MacBook with a long battery is certainly very appealing.
The previous 12″ MacBook was outfitted with a 7th generation Intel Core m3 processor. It was the first Mac to launch with a USB-C port. However, it only came with one port that’s used for both charging and to plug in other accessories. This forced many users to buy USB-C dongles to expand their connectivity options.
What do you think? Would an ultraportable Apple Silicon MacBook with up to 20 hours of battery life tempt you to get one? Let us know in the comments below.