Apple (AAPL) - Get Report is laying the groundwork to start selling Mac computers with an in-house made processor, relying on designs that helped popularize the iPhone and iPad, according to Bloomberg sources.
The company is working on three of its own Mac processors, known as systems-on-a-chip, that are based on the A14 processor that is expected to power the next iPhone.
The Mac processor will be much faster than those found in the iPhone and iPad, Bloomberg reported. Apple plans to release at least one Mac computer with its own processor next year.
Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) - Get Report, Apple's manufacturing partner for iPhone and iPad processors, will build the new in-house chips based on a 5-nanometer production process, which is the same size Apple will use in the next generation of iPhones and iPad Pros.
The first Mac processors will have eight high-performance cores, codenamed Firestorm, according to Bloomberg, with at least four energy-efficient cores, code named Icestorm.
The company is also exploring designs for processors with more than 12 cores for future production. In some Macs, Apple plans to double or quadruple the number of cores found in Intel's processors. The current entry-level MacBook Air has two cores, while the standard Mac currently has four physical cores with another six logical (virtual) ones.
Apple has already started designing a second generation Mac processor that follows the architecture of chips planned for the 2021 iPhone, Bloomberg reported, suggesting that the company is looking to make its processors uniform throughout its hardware lineup.
Despite the chip plans, Mac computers will still run the macOS operating system while iPhones and iPads will still run their iOS software.
Apple shares were falling 0.1% to $275.71 in pre-market trading Thursday while Intel shares declined 0.6% to $59.77.