Rumors that Apple, one day, may abandon Intel and start using its own line of processors on its computers have been around for a long time. The fact is: with the launch of the A11 Bionic, we are seeing iPhones with processing capacity superior to some models of Macs – and this only reinforces the thesis that, in the near future, Apple may even choose to control even more the construction of the your desktop and portable computers.
It is true that the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was the first Apple computer to have, in addition to an Intel chip, an owner: the T1. As already explained, the Touch Bar runs a simplified version of watchOS that is controlled by this secondary chip T1, a variation of the S1 chip that equips older models of the Apple watch. At the iMac Prohowever, this will be taken to a new level, as the developers discovered Johnathan Levin, Steve Troughton-Smith and Guilherme Rambo.
That’s because Apple’s newest professional desktop will come equipped with a chip A10 Fusion – that is, the first computer with an Apple A-series processor. And unlike the MacBook Pro T1 (which controls just one aspect of the computer, the Touch Bar), it will be more involved with general features itself. There is even speculation that the A10 Fusion will be active even with the iMac Pro turned off.
According to the developers’ findings, A10 Fusion will handle the process of boot and safety macOS. According to Steven, by doing this (using an A series chip), Apple is able to unify its security model between iGadgets and Macs.
Another interesting aspect of the A10 Fusion is the arrival of the feature “What’s up, Siri” to the Mac. Siri, as we know, is present in macOS but, to call it, you need to necessarily click on its icon in the Dock or in the status bar (or use the button on the Touch Bar). In iMac Pro, everything suggests that you just need to call Siri (as in iPhones and iPads) to make it available. In fact, as it has already been discovered that the A10 Fusion is active even with the iMac Pro turned off, many are already considering the possibility of turning on the desktop asking Siri (something like “Hey, Siri, turn on my iMac”).
Confirmed: “Hey, Siri” is coming to the Mac pic.twitter.com/Dw9bRAzbxD
– Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) November 18, 2017
The “Hey Siri” setup on macOS is identical to the one on iOS, but it’s implemented with regular AppKit, there’s no magical UIKit port or UXKit being used pic.twitter.com/lhuga3dA7y
– Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) November 19, 2017
We talked a little with Rambo about the details of using A10 Fusion on the iMac Pro and what that means for the future of the line, check out:
What we already know: the A10 Fusion will be used to manage boot of the system. This means that he will be the “boss”, not the Intel processor. In practice, it means that Apple will have greater control over the software running on Macs, given that to give boot on macOS you will need the endorsement of the A10 Fusion, which has all the security elements already known on iPhones. In the future, this may make it impossible Hackintoshes and certain modifications to the system.
The “Hey there, Siri” feature is just one example of an ongoing task that will be managed by A10 Fusion. People make fun of the fact that they need a separate processor for this, but they forget that the main reason is not processing power, but energy saving. Apple’s mobile processors, even running a full iOS, are extremely energy efficient – running in our pockets. Now, imagine such a processor running a lean system, on a machine with a powerful battery like a 15 ″ MacBook Pro. He could stay on forever, even with the Mac turned off, listening to the command “What’s up, Siri”, downloading his emails, installing updates, etc. The possibilities are many!
The presence of A10 Fusion will also make the Mac even more secure, after all everything that involves security can be managed by the coprocessor, which is virtually impenetrable by third-party software. Camera, microphone, Touch ID… everything that is sensitive goes through the A10 Fusion. It is as if the A10 became the secure enclave Intel processor.
Apparently, the use of this pair of processors is quite beneficial for Apple. So would it really be worthwhile for the company to migrate everything to its chip family in the not too distant future? I questioned Rambo about it and, for him, no. In the developer’s opinion, this is the perfect formula and he does not believe that Apple would be investing so many resources in this interoperability (called internally “Multiverse”) to switch to ARM in a year or two.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? We’ll see what else Apple is saving from news for the iMac Pro and the future of the Mac line as a whole!
Update Nov 21, 2017 at 10:35
Blogger Pike, from Pike’s Universum, found interesting references to a type of mobile connectivity in the firmware of the iMac Pro. For now everything is speculation and rumor, but Pike’s idea makes sense: for him, this is some kind of new theft protection created by Apple .
As we know, the iMac Pro is quite expensive (its entry price will be US $ 5,000, but customized models can double or triple that in a snap). Even though it is a desktop computer with a 27 ″ screen, it is not that difficult to go around with such a machine under your arm. So it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Apple introduced a “Find My iMac Pro” (that would call home to report the exact location of the GPS without having the option to turn it off).
For Pike, it’s either that or the iMac Pro will introduce a new feature that will use a SIM card to make phone calls (which doesn’t make a lot of sense). Or, who knows, the information found by him is just some kind of leftover iOS code that for some reason (perhaps due to the use of the A10 Fusion chip itself) is there.