Here’s What Intel Has To Say About Apple’s Seismic Shift To Its Own Chips For Macs

apple xcode
Apple yesterday confirmed the rumors that we’ve been hearing in tech circles for years; that it would be pushing Intel aside as its chip supplier for Macs. Instead, Apple has decided to pursue its own processor designs based around Arm architecture rather than x86.

There should be some pretty sizable costs savings for Apple by bringing processor design in-house, and it allows for broader compatibility across all of its hardware families, including the ability to run iPhone and iPad apps in macOS 11 Big Sur. The folks in Cupertino are also banking on significant performance-per-watt gains over its currently-deployed Intel-based systems, and future Intel processors in the pipeline.

arm performance

“From the beginning, the Mac has always embraced big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing. Today we’re announcing our transition to Apple silicon, making this a historic day for the Mac,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “With its powerful features and industry-leading performance, Apple silicon will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever. I’ve never been more excited about the future of the Mac.”

So, what does Intel have to say about all of this? Well, Intel is being diplomatic with its response to Apple’s news, which is to be expected. “Apple is a customer across several areas of business, and we will continue to support them,” said Intel in a statement provided to HotHardware.

chip diagram

We have to remember that Apple explained that its transition from Intel to its own custom processors will take place over a two-year period, so it’s relationship with Intel isn’t ending anytime soon. It’s highly likely that we will see future Macs with Tiger Lake and even Rocket Lake-based processors in the future. But the number of chip orders that Intel receives from Apple will likely start dropping in 2021, as Apple indicates that the first Macs to ship with Arm processors will arrive in late 2020.

Intel went on to tout its engineering prowess, and the performance of its upcoming 10nm Tiger Lake processors that will power next-generation laptops:

Intel remains focused on delivering the most advanced PC experiences and a wide range of technology choices that redefine computing. We believe Intel-powered PCs—like those based on our forthcoming Tiger Lake mobile platform—provide global customers the best experience in the areas they value most, as well as the most open platform for developers, both today and into the future.

The first accessible Arm-powered Mac will be available this week for app developers to order. The systems are comprised of a Mac mini shell with an Apple A12Z Bionic SoC inside (also used on the 2020 iPad Pro). The systems are equipped with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and are offered on loan from Apple for $500.

However, according to a previous report, the first consumer system with an Arm processor will be a 13-inch MacBook Pro followed closely by a 24-inch iMac.