iMac Pro to incorporate T2 chip to handle discrete functions, security functions and secure enclave processes

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017, 03:50
Category: Face ID, Hardware, iMac, News, Processors, security, Touch ID

The upcoming iMac Pro will feature new security hardware in the form of a new custom chip dubbed the T2, serving as a secure enclave for encrypted keys, giving users the ability to lock down their Mac’s boot process and also handling system functions like the camera, audio control, and managing the solid-state hard drive.

Details about the new T2 chip were revealed by Caleb Sasser, cofounder of Panic.

Per Sasser, the T2 chip combines previously discrete functions, such as the system management controller, image signal processor for FaceTime camera, audio control, and SSD control.

Like the MacBook Pro’s T1 chip, the T2 chip features a secure enclave for data such as passwords. Sasser also noted that the hardware featured an encryption engine:

“This new chip means storage encryption keys pass from the secure enclave to the hardware encryption engine in-chip — your key never leaves the chip. And, they it allows for hardware verification of OS, kernel, boot loader, firmware, etc. (This can be disabled)”

The upcoming iMac Pro will feature a version of macOS High Sierra that includes a new “Startup Security Utility” option. Here, users can turn on a firmware password to prevent a computer from starting up from a different hard disk, CD or DVD without the password.

Users can select form new “Secure Boot” options that range from “Full Security” to “Medium Security” to none. When “Full Security” is enabled, the system ensures only the latest and most secure software can be run, requiring a network connection at software installation time.

The iMac Pro is noted to be lacking both Face ID and Touch ID, meaning there is no way to authenticate Apple Pay purchases with the device. Users will have to rely on an iPhone or Apple Watch nearby, logged into the same iCloud credentials, to authorize Apple Pay purchases on the web.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider and Twitter

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