Apple Developing ARM-Based Mac Chip to Handle Low-Power Functions Alongside Intel Processors

Apple is developing a new ARM-based chip for its Mac lineup that would "take on more of the functionality" handled by Intel processors, reports Bloomberg.

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.

macbookprotouchbar

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. This function allows Mac laptops 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 people.

Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro uses an independent ARM-based chip called the T1 to power the Touch Bar, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the Touch Bar, and the secure enclave that stores payment and biometric data.

According to Bloomberg's report, the upcoming ARM-based chip will "go further," connecting to storage and wireless components to take on additional power management capabilities.

Apple could begin using the new chip in an upgraded version of the MacBook Pro set to launch 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.

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Top Rated Comments

mlrproducts Avatar
96 months ago
Or you know, instead of devoting more resources to this project, they could just put a *GASP* normal-sized battery in their laptops (and make them slightly thicker) and use those resources to update the Mac Pro, Mini, etc...
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MysteriousStain Avatar
96 months ago
Great news. Now just make it a bit thicker, allow us swap out ram and drives and put in a decent GPU.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
96 months ago
A ARM coprocessor would rule, specially to simulate iOS apps in Xcode.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
A MacBook lover Avatar
96 months ago
Looks like the Apple-is-Doomed circlejerk is going to need some extra courage in the coming months.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
96 months ago
Or you know, instead of devoting more resources to this project, they could just put a *GASP* normal-sized battery in their laptops (and make them slightly thicker)
I actually want a thinner MBP. Seriously.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
96 months ago
Apple is DOOM

Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)