First Apple Silicon Macs likely to be MacBook rebirth, iMac with custom GPU

New supply chain reports claim that Apple is using a MacBook as its first Apple Silicon Mac and will also use its own GPU in a new iMac.

The first details of Apple’s planned specifications for its upcoming Apple Silicon Macs have started to emerge from sources within the supply chain. In addition to the details of the upcoming MacBook, it is claimed that Apple is developing its own GPU which could appear for the first time in an iMac which will be released in the second half of 2021.

The report claims that the new Apple Silicon MacBook will run on an Apple A14X processor, which is expected to be used in future iPad Pro models.

It is possible that the reference to a MacBook instead of a MacBook Pro is generic and the sources simply describe any Mac laptop. However, these sources also specify that the device will have a USB Type-C port and weigh less than 1kg. It will offer an autonomy of 15 to 20 hours. For comparison, the current MacBook Air weighs 1.29 kg and the 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs 1.4 kg.

The design of the A14X processor has reportedly been finalized and is expected to go into mass production at TSMC, using that company’s 5nm process. Apple is claimed to have purchased TSMC’s production capacity that was previously used by Huawei.

TSMC’s 5nm process would also be used for Apple’s future internal GPU. Details on this are unclear, but the China Times says work is progressing smoothly. It’s not clear whether all Apple Silicon Macs will win this Apple GPU, but the post says a revised iMac launched in the second half of 2021 will.

The butterfly keyboard on Apple’s abandoned MacBook

Apple eventually replaced the butterfly keyboard with a revised scissor mechanism that it calls the Magic Keyboard. While this new keyboard is now featured on all models of Apple’s MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, the company has not officially said the butterfly model will not be returning.

From China Times sources, it’s not clear whether the expected Apple Silicon MacBook will have a butterfly keyboard. However, its reduced weight suggests a slim design, which at least means there is a possibility that the slimmer butterfly mechanism could be used.

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