The chip, which went into development last year, is similar to one already used in the latest MacBook Pro to power the keyboard’s Touch Bar feature, the people said. The updated part, internally codenamed T310, would handle some of the computer’s low-power mode functionality, they said. The people asked not to be identified talking about private product development. It’s built using ARM Holdings Plc. technology and will work alongside an Intel processor.
The first ARM-based chip for Mac from Apple is called the T1. It powers the Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pro. The new chip will reportedly handle the laptop's 'Power Nap' feature which allows the device to check email, install software updates, synchronize appointments and more when not in use. While the feature uses very little battery life already, moving from Intel to an ARM based chip will conserve even more power.
Sources say that Apple may release an updated MacBook Pro with the new chip later this year. Notably, an ARM MacBook has been rumored for quite some time. It's believed that A-series chips would be limited to lower-end devices initially, perhaps a future version of the 12-inch MacBook would be a possible candidate. Fueling the rumor, Apple has already added support for the ARM HURRICANE chip family to macOS Sierra.
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