Apple plans to roll out more Mac laptops and desktops with its custom-designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a MacRumors research note.
Kuo believes that Arm-based processors significantly improve the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allowing Apple to upgrade its Mac models without relying on Intel’s processor schedule, reducing processor costs by 40 to 60 percent, PCs from Windows.
Earlier this month, Kuo said Apple’s first Mac-based notebook, with Arm-based processors, will be released in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021.
Kuo expects ASMedia Technology to become the exclusive supplier of USB controllers for Arm-controlled computers, adding that Taiwan’s integrated circuit designer will benefit from support for the Mac in 2022 with USB4.
USB4 converges with Thunderbolt and USB protocols as part of Intel’s goal of making Thunderbolt available royalty-free, which can result in wider and cheaper availability of Thunderbolt accessories such as docks and eGPUs.
Based on Thunderbolt 3, USB4 delivers data rates up to 40 Gbps, twice as fast as the latest USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 specification. The Thunderbolt 3 protocol, which is based on USB4, also means that the specification supports up to two 4K displays or one 5K display with a single cable.
The easiest way to view USB4 is Thunderbolt 3, but it’s free for manufacturers. Intel will continue to provide Thunderbolt 3 on a stand-alone basis, with some advantages over USB4, including greater support for reference plans and technical issues from manufacturers.
The new USB4 specification was released in September 2019, which gave Apple plenty of time to implement it on 2022 Macs.