Apple’s 2018 lineup of MacBooks and Mac desktops will feature the company’s T-series co-processors, developed in-house to operate alongside Intel chipsets.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, these updated Mac models with new co-processors will include fresh laptops and a new desktop – follow ups to the the current MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and iMac Pro.
Apple’s T-series chips are primarily security-based, but also have a few other functions. The T1 chip on the latest MacBook Pro controls Touch ID and the Touch Bar, while on the iMac Pro, the T2 manages the boot process, camera, microphone security and more.
At least three updated Mac models are set to use custom co-processors, Bloomberg‘s sources say, with the potential for release as soon as this year. The refresh will include a new desktop and two new laptops, the insider suggests, following the two existing uses of custom Apple co-processors in macOS hardware already on sale.
Apple has been designing its own mobile processors for some years now, in the shape of the Apple Ax series of chipsets used in the iPhone and iPad. Although perhaps initially seen primarily as a way for Apple to balance the performance and power consumption of mobile devices, in recent years the Cupertino company has become far more capable in comparison to other chip giants like Intel. Indeed, in many metrics, such as 4K video processing, a modern iPad Pro or iPhone X can out-perform a more traditional desktop system.
Apple watchers expect the company to eventually design the entire CPU, which would take away Intel’s fifth-largest customer.
Bloomberg’s report mentions that two laptop models will receive a new ARM coprocessor this year, so perhaps we might see a new 12-inch MacBook and a new MacBook Air, but there’s no indication as yet about any planned updates for the MacBook Air.