Apple is taking the PC world by storm with its first debut of Apple Silicon chips inside of Macs, taking what it learned from developing the iPhone and iPad A-series of chips and bringing that architecture to laptops and desktops.
Today, The Information said that Apple has no intent of slowing down and has plans for even faster second- and third-generation chips in the coming years.
The M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max are fabricated on a 5-nanometer process. The report says Apple will follow up with second-generation Apple Silicon chips in 2022, using an upgraded 5-nanometer process. Therefore, the performance and efficiency gains compared to the M1 generation will be relatively small. Apple plans for at least some of these chips to feature two dies, doubling performance in machines that can accommodate larger chips like desktop Macs.
Most notably, The Information says Apple and foundry partner TSMC plan to produce 3-nanometer chips for Macs as soon as 2023. These could feature as many as four dies, with up to 40 CPU cores in total per chip. The three versions of the third-generation chip are reportedly codenamed ‘Ibiza’, ‘Lobos’ and ‘Palma’.
The roadmap suggests that Apple will continue to “easily outperform Intel’s future processors for consumer PCs”, according to the report.
The iPhone is also expected to move to 3-nanometer chips in 2023 as well, keeping Apple’s lead in silicon performance in the smartphone market.
In the short term, you can expect Apple’s new Mac Pro to feature at least two dies, in essence forming a dual-M1 Max design. Mark Gurman at Bloomberg previously suggested Apple’s highest-end chip would feature four dies.
The rumored 2022 MacBook Air will feature Apple’s first second-generation chip, albeit far less powerful than the high-end chips due to the thermal constraints of the machine.
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