Every year, Apple updates its Mac computers, but not every upgrade brings over groundbreaking features. For example, one report said recently that while Apple will release new MacBook Pros this year, you shouldn’t expect any major changes, as Apple will likely only upgrade the processing power of these machines. A different story hinted that the MacBook Air series will finally reach end-of-life, as Apple is preparing to debut a 13-inch entry-level laptop.
A fresh story now claims that Apple is working on at least three updated Mac models, including laptops and a new desktop, that will pack a custom co-processor made by Apple alongside the expected Intel silicon. But don’t get too excited just yet.
Many people speculated for years that Apple plans on creating its own custom chips capable of powering MacBooks and iMacs. However, that won’t happen this year.
Per Bloomberg Apple will use co-processors in at least three Mac laptops and desktops. But the report doesn’t specify what kind of co-processors we’re looking at. It also doesn’t name the specific Mac models supposed to get Apple co-processors. The MacBook Pro and Mac Pro are likely candidates given what Apple did in previous years.
So far, Apple has used two different custom chips for its Macs, including the T1 that debuted in late 2016 to power the Touch Bar touchscreen on 2016 (or later) MacBook Pro models. The chip also handles Touch ID security. A year later, Apple released the iMac Pro, which packs its own Apple-made co-processor. This time we’re looking at the T2 generation.
Qualcomm and Microsoft late last year announced that a slew of Windows computer makers will release ultra-portable always-connected laptops that will be powered by the Snapdragon 835 mobile platform. It’s likely that Apple will continue to use T-series chips in future MacBooks, including 2018 models. But these chips will not power the full computer experience.
Separately, the report says that a new iPad is due this fall, and the new tablet should be powered by Apple’s latest chips that include “the Apple-designed graphics engine and AI chip” found inside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.