Apple WWDC: Transition To Apple Silicon For Macs Revealed

By Amit Chowdhry ● June 23, 2020
  • At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple revealed its plan to transition from the Mac to its own custom silicon

At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple revealed its plan to transition from the Mac to its own custom silicon for delivering industry-leading performance and powerful new technologies. Developers are able to get started by updating their apps to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of Apple silicon in the Mac. And this transition will also establish a common architecture across all Apple products thus making it far easier for developers to write and optimize their apps for the entire ecosystem.

Apple also revealed macOS Big Sur, the next major release of macOS — which delivers the company’s largest update in over a decade and it includes technologies for ensuring a smooth and seamless transition to Apple silicon.

Plus developers can easily convert their existing apps to run on Apple silicon, taking advantage of its powerful technologies and performance. And developers can make their iOS and iPadOS apps available on the Mac without any modifications.

In order to help developers get started with Apple silicon, Apple is also launching the Universal App Quick Start Program — which is going to provide access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12, and the limited use of a Developer Transition Kit (DTK) — a Mac development system based on Apple’s A12Z Bionic System on a Chip (SoC).

Apple is planning to ship the first Mac with Apple silicon by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. And Apple will continue to support and release new versions of macOS for Intel-based Macs going forward. Plus the company also has exciting new Intel-based Macs in development. 

“From the beginning, the Mac has always embraced big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing. Today we’re announcing our transition to Apple silicon, making this a historic day for the Mac,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “With its powerful features and industry-leading performance, Apple silicon will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever. I’ve never been more excited about the future of the Mac.”

For more than a decade, Apple’s silicon design team has been building Apple SoCs. And the result is a scalable architecture custom-designed for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch which leads the industry in unique features and performance per watt.

Apple is going to build upon this architecture by designing a family of SoCs for the Mac. And this will give the Mac industry-leading performance per watt and higher performance GPUs thus enabling app developers to write even more powerful pro apps and high-end games. Plus access to technologies such as the Neural Engine will make the Mac an amazing platform for developers to use machine learning.

With the upcoming macOS Big Sur, Apple is adding a range of technologies for making the transition to Apple silicon smoother and more seamless. And with everything built into Xcode 12 like native compilers, editors, and debugging tools, most developers will be able to get their apps running in a matter of days. 

With Universal 2 application binaries, developers will be able to easily create a single app that taps into the native power and performance of the new Macs with Apple silicon while still supporting Intel-based Macs. And with the translation technology of Rosetta 2, users will be able to run existing Mac apps that have not yet been updated including those with plug-ins.