Apple started producing its own chipsets way back in 2010 and it all started with the A4 chipset that powered the iPhone. Currently, the Cupertino company is using custom chips on all of its iPhones and the iPad lineup. According to a new report, Apple is planning to expand its chipset further to the Mac range of products. Until now, a major chunk of MacBooks sourced chips from Intel.
The latest report from Bloomberg details how Apple is currently working on three new Mac products. All the three Macs will be using custom chips alongside the Intel main processor. What this means is that, Apple wants to offload the Intel main processor when it comes to tasks like Touch ID sensor. With such an arrangement in place, Apple will be able to protect its users from vulnerabilities like the recent Spectre meltdown.
The MacBook Pro has already delegated the TouchID and the Touch Bar functionality to the custom T1 chip. Thanks to the custom chip, the fingerprint will be stored in the secure enclave and not the laptop’s internal storage. On a related note, the iMac Pro is using a T2 coprocessor that encrypts data in real time and also handles the microphone, cooling systems and the camera.
Apple is likely to launch three new Macs this year and this includes the new Mac Pro. The other two laptops are speculated to be the much-needed replacement for MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook. All said and done, Apple is hell-bent on owning the technologies that it uses in its products. Apple is definitely not the first company to use custom chips, however, it is probably the only company that has successfully implemented custom chips. Motorola, HP and Philips all had a chip producing division that eventually failed. Apple has cleverly designated the chip production process to companies like the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and has solely focussed on-chip designing.
Apple is in midst of a legal battle with Qualcomm and is accusing the latter of overcharging royalty. Apple has also considered minimising the reliance on Intel modems and chips. The recent Spectre Meltdown affected iPhones, and this is exactly the kind of security compromise that Apple wants to avoid. It is also worth noting that Apple has always had a tight leash over its hardware and software, in fact, this has for long been its forte.