Apple to reveal plans for using its own chips in Macs at WWDC, report says

The new chips, based on those that have powered iPhones and iPad for years, could reportedly lead to thinner, lighter Mac laptops.

In 2010, Apple surprised the tech world when it announced it built its own chip, then called the A4, to power its newly revealed iPad tablet. This year, the company might do it again, but this time to announce a shift to its homemade chips for Mac computers, too.

The move, which has been long rumored, would mean Apple would start dropping Intel‘s processors chips from being the brains of at least some of its computers. The partnership, which was publicly announced in 2005, has made possible devices like the MacBook Air laptop

Apple will make the move official later this month at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday. WWDC 2020 is set to take place on June 22, and will be held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the timing of the chip announcement could change, Bloomberg said, due to the outbreak’s impact on Apple’s production.

Apple declined to comment.

The move to use its own chips to power its Mac computers would give Apple an opportunity to custom-design chips that fit its penchant for ever smaller, thinner and longer-lasting devices. In past years, while working with Intel, the company designed new fans to keep its laptops cool, new laptop cases machined out of a single piece of aluminum and new keyboards to allow for a lower-profile screen and hinge.

Now Apple will be able to use its well-regarded iPhone and iPad chips, which industry watchers have speculated will run cooler and offer better battery life. 

The company’s latest chip, the A13 Bionic, powers the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE. Apple’s chips are based on technology designed by Arm Holdings, a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Softbank. Arm’s designs are also used as the basis for chips made by Samsung, Qualcomm and Nvidia.