Apple has confirmed that it’s ditching Intel processors in its Mac devices in favour of ARM-based “Apple Silicon.”
The move, which has been long-rumored, was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who touted the switch to custom silicon as “a huge leap forward” for the Mac.
Apple is promising that it’s in-house CPUs will deliver major performance gains and less power consumption than Intel processors.
In a demo, which used a Mac running on the iPad Pro‘s A12Z Bionic processor, Craig Federighi demoed a number of apps running natively on Apple Silicon, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.
All Big Sur apps are built native for Mac Silicon, but to ensure that all apps run from day one, the company has announced Rosetta 2. This tool will automatically translates apps at installation to be compatible with Apple’s custom chips.
Perhaps most interestingly, Apple also announced that iPhone and iPad apps will run natively on Macs with Apple Silicon.
Apple will start shipping Developer Transition Kits this week, which comprises a Mac mini with an A12Z SoC, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, and said it plans to release it’s first Apple Silicon-powered Mac later this year.
However, despite rumors Apple would be quick to discontinue its current lineup, the company confirmed there new Intel-based Macs still to come, with its transition to ARM set to take two years.
Apple’s shift to its own ARM-based chips comes just as the company unveils macOS Big Sur, which introduces a number of major design changes across the operating system.
The developer preview of Big Sur is available from today, with a public beta to follow in July.