“Could Apple be working on next-generation Mac hardware that would be powered by an in-house designed processor based on CPU blueprints from British fabless semiconductor maker ARM Holdings plc?” Christian Zibreg reports for iDownloadBlog. “That’s exactly the conclusion one could reach by looking closely at code strings in the macOS Sierra kernel, discovered by Dutch outlet TechTastic.nl.”

“It’s very peculiar that Apple would add support for ARM technology to macOS Sierra,” Zibreg reports. “As you know, all Macs manufactured since 2005 run Intel chips. The Apple appears to be implementing support for ARM chips in the Mac operating system could mean that first ARM-based Macs might appear this year.”

“The macOS Sierra kernel indicates support for the ARM Hurricane family,” Zibreg reports. “Now, ARM’s existing blueprints make no mention of the Hurricane CPU so this is most likely Apple’s internal code-name for a custom ARM-based CPU architecture… An ARM-based Mac notebook would theoretically have a much longer battery life than any existing MacBook with an Intel chip. With its own custom-designed Mac processor Apple would no longer be dependent on Intel’s slowing roadmap. More importantly, it would be able to refresh Macs once per year because any future A-series processors for computers would likely be on the same annual release cycle as the iPhone and iPad chips.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Certainly Apple has OS X running on A-series processors in their labs.

As we wrote back in January 2015:

There is no reason why Apple could not offer both A-series-powered Macs and Intel-based Macs. The two are not mutually exclusive…

iOS devices and OS X Macs inevitably are going to grow closer over time, not just in hardware, but in software, too:

Think code convergence (more so than today) with UI modifications per device. A unified underlying codebase for Intel, Apple A-series, and, in Apple’s labs, likely other chips, too (just in case). This would allow for a single App Store for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users that features a mix of apps: Some that are touch-only, some that are Mac-only, and some that are universal (can run on both traditional notebooks and desktops as well as on multi-touch computers like iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and – pretty please, Apple – Apple TV). Don’t be surprised to see Apple A-series-powered Macs, either.MacDailyNews Take, January 9, 2014

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