According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is developing an ARM-based Mac processor designed to take some load off the primary Intel processor.
The rumoured component, Dubbed T310, has been in development since last year and is similar to the T1 chip powering Apple’s MacBook Pro Touch Bar. Unlike the T1, which is limited to Touch Bar operation and Touch ID security authentication, the next-generation ARM chip would facilitate certain low-power Mac functions offloaded from the main Intel CPU.
Specifically, the report notes that Apple is looking to dedicate the chip to handle the Power Nap feature on macOS. Power Nap was introduced with OS X Mountain Lion and allows the Mac to stay updated while the machine is asleep.
Currently, the Power Nap feature is handled by the main Intel CPU, which operates in a low-power state. Switching to the ARM chip would allow Apple to make the process even more efficient.
While a launch timeline went unreported, Apple’s ARM chip could find its way into a MacBook Pro revision later this year. If implemented, it will be the first ARM-based chip to gain wide access to Mac hardware and could possibly pave the way to an all-ARM architecture.