What Is Apple Silicon And What Does It Mean For The Mac?

Emeric Brard
on 24 June 2020

Described as “historic day for the Mac,” by Tim Cook, Apple is leaving Intel behind and transitioning to its own processor in Apple Silicon. This will see a similar structure of SoCs based on its A12Z Bionic System on a Chip, which are currently available for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, implemented into the Mac family.

The Mac over the years has made three big leaps in its development. Starting with the jump to PowerPC, then to Mac OSX, and finally its current system, Intel. Apple has now announced its fourth leap – and it’s the biggest one yet.

What does Apple Silicon mean for Mac?

Once Mac get its own set of SoCs, users can expect industry-leading performance per watt and higher performance GPUs which will further broaden the possibilities for app developers to create powerful apps and games.

The transition to Apple Silicon from Intel is expected to take around two years with the first of the models with Apple silicon set to release at the end of the year, but having its own processor and a common architecture will mean that developers can write and optimise software across all Apple products. For example, iOS and iPadOS will be available on macOS without the need for any modifications.

Apple Silicon

With this move Apple is also promising a new level of high-performance and low consumption, which is a balance that all computers want to reach.

Thanks to macOS Big Sur, the Rosetta 2 translation technology will be able to run apps that have not yet been optimised for Apple Silicon.

Quick Start Programs for developers

Apple is also allowing Apple Developer Program members to start updated their apps to Apple Silicon via the Universal App Quick Start Program. The program will give provides developers with access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12, and includes the limited use of a DTK which consists of Mac mini and a variety of Mac I/O ports.

For more information, click here. And to watch the full keynote, click here.


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