Rumor: Apple to incorporate next-gen ARM-based processor into future Macs to handle low-power functions

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Date: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017, 05:46
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Processors, Rumor, Touch Bar, Touch ID

This is pretty nifty.

Apple is apparently developing an ARM-based chip for its Mac products that would “take on more of the functionality” handled by Intel processors.

In development since last year, the chip, codenamed T310, is said to be similar to the chip used to power the Touch Bar in the new 2016 Macbook Pro. It’s built using ARM technology and will work with the standard Intel processor, handling “Power Nap” low-power mode functionality.


The processors are intended to offload the Mac’s low-power mode, entitled “Power Nap”, to the ARM-based chip. This function currently allows Apple’s notebooks to retrieve e-mails, install software updates, and synchronize calendar appointments with the display shut and not in use. The feature currently uses little battery life while run on the Intel chip, but the move to ARM would conserve even more power, according to one of the sources.

As of now, the 2016 MacBook Pro uses an independent ARM-based chip called the “T1” to drive the Touch Bar, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the Touch Bar, and the secure enclave that stores payment and biometric data.

It’s thought that the next generation of the ARM chip will “go further,” allowing the hardware to connect to storage and wireless components to handle additional power management functions.
later this year, but it could be introduced as a quiet update with little fanfare as the chip that powers the Touch Bar was not promoted by Apple.

Despite Apple’s plans to offload some tasks to a new ARM chip, Apple is said to have no intention of abandoning Intel chips in its laptop and desktop computers.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via MacRumors and Bloomberg

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