Apple unveiled a new custom chip – and announced that it will move its Macs from Intel processors to its own chips in the next two years – at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference on Monday.
“It’s a game changer,” CEO Tim Cook said. “It truly is a historic day for the Mac.”
The new chip, Apple Silicon, is a more powerful, desktop-sized version of processing chips that Apple previously built for iPhones and iPads. Apple Silicon will run in the same environment as those chips, making it easier for developers to build apps that work across all Apple devices, the company said.
Macs with Apple Silicon will also be able to run iPhone and iPad apps.
Apple touted Apple Silicon’s CPU power and said the new chip will make Macs better at running demanding programs like games, machine learning tools, and video editing software.
Developers also won’t have to race to build new apps that work with Silicon – Apple announced that the next generation of MacOS, Big Sur, will come fitted with Rosetta 2, a program that automatically translates Intel apps into Apple Silicon. In the meantime, Apple will start shipping beta kits to developers this month.
Cook said Apple’s first computer outfitted with Silicon will ship by the end of 2020, and that other Macs will be transitioned to Silicon “in the next two years.”