Apple could use 8th-generation Kaby Lake processors in mid-range MacBook or MacBook Air models later this year, a Taiwanese report claims, with Apple thought to be using the more established processors from last year instead of newer variants due to implementation issues.
Intel launched its 8th-generation processors on Monday, starting with the with the new 'U-series' chips for notebooks boasting a 40 percent performance boost compared to the previous generation, though while this series is suitable for use in MacBooks and the dual-core MacBook Pro, it won't help provide users with a 32GB memory option.
Released in late 2016, the redesigned MacBook Pro without Touch Bar came with Intel's previous-generation Skylake processors. This month, they were refreshed with next-gen Kaby Lake processors, and AppleInsider put the two models head to head to compare their performance.
Focused on professional users, Apple on Monday unveiled a revamped iMac lineup with faster and more capable hardware, which will allow for the creation of graphics-intensive virtual reality content with macOS High Sierra.
Intel's 8th-generation processors, codenamed 'Coffee Lake,' will be faster than the previous generation by a wider margin than previously thought, with the chip producer claiming the new generation could offer 30 percent more performance compared to the 7th-generation 'Kaby Lake' chips, believed to be used in the upcoming MacBook refresh.
Intel may be preparing to add a new tier of processor to its lineup, with an image suggesting a new high-end Core i9 with six processors using the "Kaby Lake-X" and "Skylake-X" architectures are set to be unveiled by the chip producer starting in June — but if they will see the light of day in an Apple desktop isn't clear.
Examination of the beta code for macOS Sierra 10.12.4 has revealed a trio of Kaby Lake processors referenced, which has pointed to specific processor substitutions for a possible MacBook Pro refresh using Intel's new processor line.
Analysts from the supply chain are predicting that sales of Apple's portable MacBook and MacBook Pro lines will exceed 15 million in 2017, on the strength of sales of the 2016 MacBook Pro, and improvements to the line with the Kaby Lake processor and possibly 32GB of RAM later in the year.
Intel has rounded off its Kaby Lake processor line with new quad- and dual-core high-performance chips for mobile and desktop, with some of the new offerings suitable for a future iMac and Mac Pro refresh, though it's unlikely the just-refreshed MacBook Pro will see Kaby Lake in the short term.
A document briefly available from Intel's website intended for system manufacturers like Apple has shed some light on new Kaby Lake processors suitable for desktop computers that could be used in a new iMac or Mac Pro, but still shows no sign of the long-overdue Kaby Lake quad-core laptop processors.