Apple prepares a 5nm 12-core ARM processor for its 2021 Macbooks

According to industry sources, Apple would work on its own ARM-based processor, which is to be implemented in its Macbooks next year as an alternative to the Intel processors in use today.

More specifically, this processor will be based on the SOC A14 that will be used in the iPhone 12, with 8 powerful ‘Firestorm’ cores and 4 low power ‘Icestorm’ cores, making a total of 12 cores. It would also be manufactured at 5nm to achieve high performance with low power consumption, which is very necessary for laptops. It will also have an integrated GPU, although no details were given.

Apart from the complexity of designing its own chip, Apple’s biggest challenge in this transition to ARM will not be the hardware but the software, since all programs for MacOS are designed for x86 processors and not for ARM. This means that Apple will have to find a way to make them compatible through emulation, or developers will have to redesign their software for ARM, which will cause compatibility problems in applications that are not redesigned.

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It will be interesting to see what happens and whether Apple eventually migrates to ARM or continues to use x86 processors, possibly even from Intel.