Reports say that these new chips will be a variant of Apple’s last year’s processors which they used to power the Macbook Pro’s touch bar. The new ARM-based chips will consume much lower power than Intel’s processors. But this does not mean that Apple will stop using Intel chips entirely.
Apparently the chip will be used only in the Macbook’s ‘Power Nap’ feature. The Power Nap feature allows the notebook to download software updates and emails and other things during sleep mode. Previously, Apple relied on the main Intel processor for this purpose. However with the introduction of this new chips, these tasks will be offloaded to the Apple’s processor during sleep mode.
In theory, dividing the workload between the main Intel processor and Apple’s in-house chips would not only improve battery life but also the overall efficiency.
Consumers have criticized last year’s line of Apple notebook due to its unimpressive battery life. But the introduction of these chips would likely address these issues. The chip will reportedly debut in their new Macbook Pros arriving this year. But Apple has yet to confirm this news.
However if this is true, it raises the question. Is Apple moving away from Intel? It definitely seems so from the steps that Apple is taking. Apple is not new to making its own chips. At least in case of smartphones. Apple debuted their A4 fusion processors in 2010 to power Iphones. Now the latest version of the chip, A10 fusion processors are being used to power the Iphone 7. They have managed to optimize their software according to their hardware for immense performance gains and benchmarks results prove it. If Apple is heading this same path in terms of their notebook lineups, that would be a big step for the company. However for the time being, Apple still needs Intel processors to power their devices and might need them from some years to come.