(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. is planning to start selling Mac computers with its own main processors by next year, relying on designs that helped popularize the iPhone and iPad, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on three of its own Mac processors, known as systems-on-a-chip, based on the A14 processor in the next iPhone. The first of these will be much faster than the processors in the iPhone and iPad, the people said.
Apple is preparing to release at least one Mac with its own chip next year, according to the people. But the initiative to develop multiple chips, codenamed Kalamata, suggests the company will transition more of its Mac lineup away from current supplier Intel Corp.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Apple’s partner for iPhone and iPad processors, will build the new Mac chips, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private product plans. The components will be based on a 5-nanometer production technique, the same size Apple will use in the next iPhones and iPad Pros, one of the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment, as did Intel and TSMC.
Apple is designing more of its own chips to gain greater control over the performance of its devices and differentiate them from rivals. Getting Macs, iPhones and iPads running the same underlying technology should make it easier for Apple to unify its apps ecosystem and update its computers more often. The move would also reduce reliance on Intel, which has struggled to maintain the annual increases in performance it once offered.
Read more: How Apple Built a Chip Powerhouse to Threaten Qualcomm and Intel
Current mobile device chips from Apple have multiple processing units, or cores, that handle different types of tasks. The latest iPad Pro has four cores for performance-intensive workloads and another four to handle low-power tasks to preserve battery life.
The first Mac processors will have eight high-performance cores, codenamed Firestorm, and at least four energy-efficient cores, known internally as Icestorm. Apple is exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, the people said.
In some Macs, Apple’s designs will double or quadruple the number of cores that Intel provides. The current entry-level MacBook Air has two cores, for example.
Like Qualcomm Inc. and the rest of the mobile semiconductor industry, Apple designs its smartphone chips with technology from Arm Inc., owned by SoftBank Group Corp. These components often use less energy than Intel’s offerings. But it in recent years, Arm customers have tried to make processors that are also more powerful.
The transition to in-house Apple processor designs would likely begin with a new laptop because the company’s first custom Mac chips won’t be able to rival the performance Intel provides for high-end MacBook Pros, iMacs and the Mac Pro desktop computer.
The switch away from Intel is complex, requiring close collaboration between Apple’s software, hardware and component-sourcing teams. Given work-from-home orders and disruptions in the company’s Asia-based supply chain, the shift could be delayed, the people said.
Read more: Apple Culture of Secrecy Tested by Employees Working Remotely
Like with the iPhone, Apple’s Mac processors will include several components, including the main processor, known as a Central Processing Unit or CPU, and the GPU, the graphics chip. Apple’s lower-end computers currently use Intel for graphics, while it has partnered with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. for the graphics cards in its professional-focused offerings.
The Kalamata project has been going for several years. In 2018, Apple developed a Mac chip based on the iPad Pro’s A12X processor for internal testing. That gave the company’s engineers confidence they could begin replacing Intel in Macs as early as 2020, Bloomberg News reported.
Read more: Apple Said to Work on Mac Chip That Would Lessen Intel Role
Apple has already started designing a second generation of Mac processors that follows the architecture of chips planned for the 2021 iPhone. That indicates Apple wants to put its Macs, iPhones and iPads on the same processor development cycle.
Despite a unified chip design, Macs will still run the macOS operating system, rather than the iOS software of the iPhone and iPad. Apple is exploring tools that will ensure apps developed for older Intel-based Macs still work on the new machines. The company also has technology called Catalyst that lets software developers build an iPad app and run it on Mac computers.
Moving macOS from Intel’s chip architecture to an Arm-based design will be a technical challenge. Microsoft Corp. stumbled with a similar effort.
The changes will be a blow to Intel’s prestige. Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs and the late Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini stood on stage in 2005 to announce the first Macs with Intel processors. The decision was praised for several years, resulting in capable computers such as the original Mac Pro in 2006, the second-generation MacBook Air in 2010 and the thinner MacBook Pro in 2012.
But in recent years, the pace of Mac upgrades has declined, partly due to a slowdown in Intel’s chip advancements. That sometimes left years between Mac refreshes, upsetting some customers. Intel has also faced manufacturing challenges that Apple has blamed for some recent declines in Mac sales.
Read more: Intel’s Chipmaking Throne Is Challenged by Taiwanese Upstart
Kalamata is Apple’s most ambitious computer chip initiative to date. It currently offers specific chips for Mac features, such as security and power management, that work alongside the main Intel processors.
Apple also aims to stop using Intel cellular modems — chips that connect smartphones to the internet and support calls — after using them for only four years. The company plans to use 5G modems from Qualcomm in as many as four new iPhone models later this year. Apple last year acquired Intel’s modem business after striking the short-term supply deal with Qualcomm.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Toronto-based duo create custom puzzles
A duo of award-winning Toronto-based creatives has found a unique way to support local businesses while providing hours of engagement to fill Canadians’ increased downtime.
Paddy Harrington, creative designer and founder of Frontier, and Rich Pauptit, celebrated printer and president of Flash Reproductions, are teaming up with independent Canadian businesses and artists who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to create custom thematic jigsaw puzzles.
“Puzzle sales have skyrocketed as people look for engaging things to do at home,” explains Harrington. “We believe that people would prefer to do puzzles of their favourite local spots, while also supporting those businesses–and PieceTogether was born.”
Each 300-piece PieceTogether puzzle features an image from a local business and sells for $35, with $15 from every puzzle sold going directly to the business. Customers are able to offer additional donations at checkout.
Since launching on May 27, PieceTogether has partnered with local businesses like Rosalinda Restaurant, Dora Keogh Irish Pub, The Cameron House, Renya, Shacklands Brewing Co., and Stackt market.
According to sources like Calgary’s Castle Toys, puzzle sales have increased by as much as 370 per cent in the last year, and while those numbers are likely to decrease as the Canadian economy gradually reopens, PieceTogether can continue to provide a valuable revenue stream for businesses and artists as they attempt to adjust to the new landscape.
“Even as restrictions ease, many of these smaller businesses will still have to operate at a loss; it’s going to be difficult for a long time,” Pauptit adds. “It’s just devastating to think that some of our favourite neighbourhood places to visit may have to close down. With PieceTogether puzzles, you get something fun to do at home as well as an easy way to support these vital independent businesses. Plus, it’s a special keepsake that people will enjoy for years to come.”
Independent businesses and artists from across Canada can participate by setting up a profile and uploading an image to create their own custom puzzle.
Source: – Eat North
Now you can buy puzzles of Toronto businesses – NOW Magazine
In Toronto, puzzles have become an increasingly popular pandemic pastime. Seemingly endless time indoors means we’re all partying like it’s 1799, with local gift and game shops having a hard time keeping puzzles in stock.
A new Toronto startup wants to combine our newly-minted jones for jigsaws with the opportunity to help out struggling small businesses. PieceTogether is a new project that creates jigsaw puzzles featuring images of beloved local businesses – and gives $15 from every $35 sale directly back to the business.
“Even as restrictions ease many of these smaller businesses will still have to operate at a loss, it’s going to be difficult for a long time,” said co-founder Rich Pauptit in a release. “It’s just devastating to think that some of our favourite neighbourhood places to visit may have to close down.”
By buying a puzzle, he adds, “you get something fun to do at home as well as an easy way to support these vital independent businesses.”
Among the first wave of puzzles available for purchase: The Cameron House’s iconic exterior, the leafy cocktail bar Reyna, a cool bottle of beer from Shacklands, and a bird’s eye view of Stackt, with even more on the way. Check out the full lineup here.
Google Silently Releases Android Auto in More Countries – autoevolution
But more recently, users in a couple of new countries have been provided with the official Android Auto listing the Google Play Store, including here those in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Users who turned to reddit to confirm that Android Auto is now live in these two countries explain that they can “update it legitimately,” as seen in the screenshot here.
Others based the same countries, however, claim Android Auto isn’t available in the Google Play Store on their devices, so the app either rolls out in stages to these users or the Play Store updates are actually the result of the app originally being installed with the APK file.
In other words, if Android Auto is deployed using the dedicated APK installer, then updates are automatically served through the Google Play Store, and this is why some might be tempted to believe the app is now officially supported in their country.
But one user in the Netherlands says this isn’t the case, as updates through the Google Play Store weren’t possible before.
“I couldn’t update it through the store prior tot this, even with android 10. So I had to keep reinstalling through apk. Android auto seem to work different for a lot of people though. On my s9 plus it won’t show up in the store, even if I reinstall it on this phone (s10+)it will still show up in the store. On my phone it’s not a system app though,” one user explains.
Google is yet to officially announce the availability of Android Auto in more countries, so our only option is to actually wait until a confirmation on this is offered. Until then, a healthy dose of skepticism is definitely recommended.
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