Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple could kick off its switch from Intel to ARM-based processors in Mac computers as early as 2020 or 2021. That target echoes a report from Bloomberg in April that also cited 2020 as the year we’re likely to begin seeing MacBooks running on Apple’s own ARM-based chips. Kuo says the changeover will come with the obvious upside of Apple being freed from relying on Intel’s processor roadmap and the delays that can disrupt it. 9to5Mac reported on Kuo’s latest note.
The transition is almost certain to start with Apple’s laptops, as it might take some time before Apple’s chips can match those from Intel in terms of performance for the company’s high-end Mac products.
Kuo says that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Apple’s chip manufacturer, stands to benefit enormously from Apple’s plans. TSMC has the exclusive supplier of A-series chips since 2016 and will maintain that arrangement going forward. Kuo also anticipates that TSMC will manufacture chips intended for Apple’s car efforts, saying “we believe that Apple Car’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will support either Level 4 (high automation) or Level 5 (full automation).”