Apple will debut a powerful custom-designed graphics procesing unit in its first Arm-based iMac which is set to launch in the second half of next year, according to a new report today.
Codenamed "Lifuka," the self-developed GPU to feature in the Apple Silicon powered iMac will be produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer manufacturing process, and will offer better performance and be more energy efficient than the Intel processor it replaces, according to the Chinese-language newspaper The China Times.
In the past, Apple introduced Mac personal computers with Intel CPUs, equipped with Nvidia or AMD GPUs, but industry insiders pointed out that Apple has cancelled support for AMD GPUs in the macOS Arm 64-bit operating system, indicating that Apple will be adopted in the future. Silicon’s Mac personal computers may use a GPU developed and designed by Apple. Recently, the industry has reported that in addition to Apple Silicon processors, Apple’s iMac desktops launched next year will also be equipped with self-developed and designed Apple GPUs.
According to relevant sources, Apple's self-developed GPU is progressing smoothly. The research and development code is Lifuka. Like the upcoming A14X processor, it is produced using TSMC's 5nm process. Apple has designed a series of processors for Mac personal computers. The new GPU will provide better performance per watt and higher computing performance. It has tile-based deferred rendering technology that allows application developers to write more powerful professional application software and game software.
Apple announced at its WWDC developer conference in June that its Macs will transition from Intel x86-based CPUs to its self-designed Arm-based Apple Silicon processors over the next two years. Bloomberg has said that Apple is currently developing at least three Mac processors that are based on the 5-nanometer A14 chip that will be used in the upcoming iPhone 12 models.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the first Mac models to adopt Arm-based chips will be a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and a 24-inch iMac with a redesigned form factor, with Apple planning to launch the new models in the fourth quarter of 2020 or early in 2021 at the earliest. Prior to the launch of its Arm-based iMac, Apple is expected to refresh the existing Intel iMac.
In contrast to Kuo's prediction, today's report claims Apple's first Arm-based Mac will be a super-lightweight 12-inch MacBook, codenamed "Tonga," that will launch by the end of 2020. In addition, the report says the A14 chip to feature in Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 lineup is codenamed "Sicilian."