An Apple silicon iMac reportedly get a custom GPU in the second half of 2021

iMac on the desktop
iMac on the desktop (Image credit: Mike Matthews/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple will reportedly ship an iMac using Apple silicon in the second half of 2021.
  • That iMac will also include a new, custom-designed, GPU.
  • The chip will be produced using TSMC's 5nm process.

Apple will reportedly launch a new iMac that uses Apple silicon in the second half of 2021, with the machine also getting a custom-designed GPU built in.

According to a new report by The China Times, Apple's new iMac chip is codenamed "Lifuka" and will be built by TSMC using its 5nm manufacturing process. That will allow it to be more performant and power-efficient than anything Intel has been able to offer for Apple's Mac lineup, too.

In the past, Apple introduced Mac personal computers with Intel CPUs, equipped with Nvidia or AMD GPUs, but industry insiders pointed out that Apple has cancelled support for AMD GPUs in the macOS Arm 64-bit operating system, indicating that Apple will be adopted in the future. Silicon's Mac personal computers may use a GPU developed and designed by Apple. Recently, the industry has reported that in addition to Apple Silico processors, Apple's iMac desktops launched next year will also be equipped with self-developed and designed Apple GPUs.

The new GPU will provide improved performance compared to Intel's chips, something that has been a key driving point behind Apple's decision to make the transition to Apple silicon.

According to relevant sources, Apple's self-developed GPU is progressing smoothly. The research and development code is Lifuka. Like the upcoming A14X processor, it is produced using TSMC's 5nm process. Apple has designed a series of processors for Mac personal computers. The new GPU will provide better performance per watt and higher computing performance. It has tile-based deferred rendering technology that allows application developers to write more powerful professional application software and game software.

Apple announced that it would be launching Macs with its own silicon inside during the WWDC event in June. We now expect a new 12-inch MacBook to be the first Apple silicon Mac to reach the market, although all eyes are on the iMac lineup to see just how powerful the new chips can be.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.