Apple uses ARM T1 processor to drive Touch Bar functions in 2016 MacBook Pro

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Date: Monday, October 31st, 2016, 05:36
Category: Archive, MacBook Pro, News, Processors

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There’s some cool stuff inside the new 2016 MacBook Pro.

The new 13-inch and 15-inch Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro notebooks feature both an Intel processor and an Apple-designer T1 chip, which is also found inside the new Series 2 Apple Watch.

As noted by Apple in its keynote, the T1 processor handles security for the Touch ID sensor, but it also performs a variety of other tasks. It secures the camera, the keychain which stores your passwords and the Touch Bar.


Some of these details were posited yesterday by developer Steven Troughton-Smith.

The T1 also sends pixels to the Touch Bar though the MacBook’s main processor is what actually renders that content which is then sent over. The touch events on the Touch Bar are driven completely by Mac OS X – making this the first component that takes advantage of MacOS’s touch support.

Though transmission of data is handled by the main processor, Apple Pay dialogs on screen are completely rendered by the T1 to take advantage of the Secure Enclave, a portion of the chip set aside for personal information just as it is in iPhones and Apple Watch devices.

As for the Touch Bar itself, this segment of the hardware runs on a modified version of watchOS, which sends data and renders images as needed.

This is interesting in that Apple has devoted a chip to a specific hardware function, allowing the Intel processor to handle its own load and drive the computer.

Nifty stuff and stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via TechCrunch and Twitter

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