Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple’s Custom Mac Processors

Jason Snell, Macworld:

The T2 processor isn’t doing the heavy lifting in the iMac Pro—that’s the Intel Xeon processor with between 8 and 14 processor cores. The T2 is the brain behind that brain, running the subsystems of the iMac Pro from a single piece of Apple-built silicon. The result is a simplified internal design that doesn’t require multiple components from multiple manufacturers.

On most Macs, there are discrete controllers for audio, system management and disk drives. But the T2 handles all these tasks. The T2 is responsible for controlling the iMac Pro’s stereo speakers, internal microphones, and dual cooling fans, all by itself.

This is a great look at what the T2 does in the iMac Pro. It’s notable just how different it is compared to the T1’s functionality in recent MacBook Pro models.

I also collected a few tidbits about it last month after the first press and user previews of the iMac Pro began appearing around the web, and they — combined with Snell’s piece — paint an interesting picture about the future of the Mac. It sounds like there are plenty of additional tasks that could, at some point, be enabled by Apple’s custom silicon in their desktop and notebook products. In an article last year for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman and Ian King suggested that Power Nap could be made more efficient by porting it to Apple’s custom silicon. And, of course, “Hey, Siri” is likely to be coming to the Mac with a future MacOS update.