Apple’s next iMac Rumored to Use Custom AMD SoC Based on Zen Architecture
According to some new rumors that have surfaced, AMD seems to be busy building a new semi-custom SoC for Apple’s next generation of iMac systems. The new chip is said to combine an x86 CPU and considerably powerful GPU on the same die.
The CPU component of the chip is expected to be built on their upcoming Zen architecture, which recently went through final design phase. The new architecture is supposed to provide massive performance and energy efficiency over the current AMD Excavator architecture due to the fact that it’s built using 16nm process.
It’s not completely clear what sort of GPU this semi-custom chip would include, but it looks like it will be similar to what the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles include: a GPU more powerful than a typical integrated graphics core, though less powerful than a mid-to-high end discrete graphics card.
This isn’t AMD’s first venture with Apple since AMD’s graphic cores are already being used in iMacs and high-end MacBooks but this might be the first where Apple would have complete design control over the chips. The semi-custom SoC for Apple wouldn’t be ready until 2017 or 2018, according to the report, but it would be a big change from the Intel CPUs the company has been using for years.