Apple Inc. is reportedly designing a new chip for future MacBooks and should implement with the launch of Macbook Pro (2017). The chip the Cupertino company is currently working on is more or less similar to the one already used in the latest MacBook Pro (2016). Apple’s first ARM-based Mac chip – T1 – was used to power the keyboard’s Touch Bar feature. It looks like Apple is now developing a more advanced chip for use with future MacBooks.
Apple developing own chip for MacBook Pro (2017)
According to reports, development work for the new chip started last year. Built using ARM technology, the new chip is being designed to handle some of the computer’s low-power mode functionality. However, this doesn’t directly indicate Apple cutting ties with Intel – it only gives a hint about where Apple is headed to. Apple is probably looking at cutting dependency on Intel for its processors gradually and eventually. The route Apple will now take will be similar to the one it took for iPhone and iPad. The Cupertino company has been using custom developed A-series processors inside iPhones and iPads.
New chip to deliver greater power efficiency
One strong reason Apple could be shifting to ARM-based Mac chip is the power efficiency that ARM-based chips will bring in. Apple engineers are reportedly working on something called “Power Nap” – a feature that allows offloading Mac’s low-power mode, in turn allowing Macs to install software updates and retrieve e-mails even when the display is not in use. Moving to ARM-based chip to implement this feature will conserve much more power as compared to current Intel chips.
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The new chip under development is different from the ARM-based chip used for Touch Bar in that the new chip will also focus on connecting to other parts of Mac – including storage and wireless components. One other reason Apple could be developing its own chip is that it would allow the company to better integrate its hardware and software functions and give the Cupertino company much more freedom when it comes to deciding on the cost of components for its MacBook.
Intel can feel safe for now since Apple has no immediate plans of ditching Intel altogether. The new chip is likely to make its appearance in the upcoming MacBook Pro (2017) that’s scheduled to be unveiled later this year.