Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Apple working on monstrous 32-core chips for future Macs

When Apple launched the first M1 Macs packing its custom-designed processors, the company made it clear that it was just the beginning. Now, if a new report from Bloomberg is to be believed, future Macs could get an enormous boost from these chips.

The report says Apple is working on the next generation of its in-house Mac chips to succeed the M1 that launched in the revamped MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13, and Mac Mini. Many of the new chips will be aimed squarely at Intel’s top-end processors and be featured in a new, half-size Mac Pro set for launch in 2022. We may not have to wait that long, though, as upgraded chips are due to arrive in spring and fall 2021.

For future versions of the MacBook Pro and iMac, Apple is working on a chip with as many as 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. In contrast, the current M1 possesses the same number of efficiency cores but only four performance cores. Given that the M1 offers a huge step up over its Intel predecessors, this upcoming chip could be even more impressive.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The next-generation chip might not arrive in the next Macs, however. In the event it is not ready in time, Apple may choose to release a version of the chip with eight or 12 high-performance cores (both of which would still be an improvement over the M1 and far better than the Intel processors in previous Macs).

It does not stop there. According to Bloomberg, the chip in the next Mac Pro could contain as many as 32 high-performance cores, in addition to its high-efficiency cores. Such a level of power would be unprecedented in a Mac. The current Mac Pro can be configured to come with a 28-core Intel Xeon W processor, but even that would likely come nowhere near the chip Apple has in its workshop.

Unlike the standard CPU and GPU combination found in most computers, where the processor and graphics chip are kept separate, Apple’s M1 chip contains both in a single package known as a system on a chip (SoC). Bloomberg reports that Apple is also working to ramp up graphics performance in future Apple-designed SoCs. Where the M1 comes in variants with either seven- or eight-core graphics processors, Apple’s road map contains both 16-core and 32-core graphics processors. Finally, in late 2021 or early 2022, the company is hoping to release 64-core and 128-core graphics chips in its high-end machines, marking a phenomenal leap in performance.

With so much power up its sleeve, Apple’s decision to ditch Intel and make its own chips seems to get better by the day. Will Intel be able to keep up? The ball is now firmly in its court.

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
Apple just brought the M1 MacBook Air back from the dead
The gold MacBook Air M1's logo and keyboard.

Apple finally stopped selling the M1 MacBook Air earlier this year. With a price cut to the M2 MacBook Air and the introduction of the M3, I was finally ready to stop recommending it as well.

But fast forward to this week's WWDC announcements, and suddenly the M1 MacBook Air just got a whole lot more attractive. That's thanks to the new Apple Intelligence features rolling out back multiple generations, all the way to the M1 Macs.
M1 MacBook comes back to life

Read more
Apple just Sherlocked another beloved Mac app
Apple's Craig Federighi introduces window tiling in macOS Sequoia at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2024.

AI was undoubtedly the focus of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday, but it wasn’t all about machine learning and Apple Intelligence. That’s because Apple also revealed sizable updates to all of its operating systems, with some fascinating new features that could make them the biggest upgrades in years.

Tucked away among the announcements was a piece of news you might have entirely missed: Finally, years after Windows implemented it and far later than it should ever have taken to arrive, macOS Sequoia will let you drag windows to snap them to the sides of your screen.

Read more
These Apple Intelligence features make me want to switch to Mac
Continuity changes in macOS 15.

I'm not a Mac user, but after hearing about Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024, I might become one. This AI powered suite is along the lines of Microsoft Copilot+, touching every aspect of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad to provide AI assistance. The AI market is already saturated with options, but with Apple Intelligence, I have to admit -- I'm already hooked.

Instead of building the Mac around AI, Apple is building AI around the Mac. It's a systemwide utility that makes the Mac much more useful overall. Here are the Apple Intelligence features coming to the Mac, and why they have me so excited.
Personal context

Read more