Apple is said to be working on a new ARM-based custom chip for its Mac lineup which when put into effect should reduce dependence on Intel processors that largely power the current generation. The chip, internally codenamed T310, reportedly went into development last year and we may see the first batch of laptops based on it as early as this year.
Apple may not be looking to push Intel completely out of the picture, however, and its new MacBook (Pro) may (still) be powered by Intel’s new Kaby Lake generation chips. It may eventually, but not for now. For now, Apple’s custom chip will reportedly be used for dedicated tasks like maintaining background app activity which could preserve battery life.
“Apple engineers are planning to offload the Mac’s low-power mode, a feature marketed as “Power Nap,” to the next-generation ARM-based chip,” according to a Bloomberg report. “The new chip may first become available in an upgraded version of the MacBook Pro laptop planned for later this year,” it adds.
The MacBook isn’t new to ARM chips. The latest MacBook Pro has one, but, here the chips’s sole purpose is powering the Touch Bar and to an extent, the Touch ID. Apple’s new chip will allow for some more.
Note that Apple’s iPhones and iPads already use the Cupertino major’s in-house A-chips.
The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are both powered by Apple’s next-generation quad-core A10 Fusion processor.
“The A10 Fusion’s CPU integrates two high-performance cores that run up to two times faster than iPhone 6, and two high-efficiency cores that are capable of running at just one-fifth the power of the high-performance cores. Graphics performance is also more powerful, running up to three times faster than iPhone 6 at as little as half the power,” according to Apple.