Categories: LaptopsMobility

Apple ‘Develops’ In-house Chip To Reduce Reliance On Intel

Apple is said to be developing a brand new in-house processor that will take on more of the functionality currently handled by Intel’s chips within Macbook laptops.

Development of the ARM-based chip reportedly began last year, and it is said it will work alongside an Intel chip to help improve the battery life of Macbooks.

It comes after influential US magazine Consumer Reports failed to recommend the new MacBook Pro due to significant variations in battery life of the Macbooks it was reviewing. Apple later claimed to have fixed the problem.

Power Saving

It should be noted that Apple’s development of its own chip is not a new phenomenon. Apple already uses its own chip (called the T1) in the Touch Bar equipped Macbook Pro that launched last October.

That Apple designed processor is used to power the touchscreen bar and some of the security around it.

But now Apple, according to Bloomberg which quoted people familiar with the matter as its source, is designing a new chip for future Mac laptops that would take on more of the functionality currently handled by Intel processors.

The chip has been assigned the internal codename of T310, and will apparently handle some of the computer’s low-power mode functionality.

What is known is that the new chip will be based on technology from UK chip designer ARM Holdings, and the new chip may appear in the upgraded version of the MacBook Pro laptop planned for later this year.

According to the reports, Apple’s engineering boffins are seeking to offload the Mac’s low-power mode (a feature marketed as “Power Nap”) to the next-generation ARM-based chip. This function allows Mac laptops to retrieve emails, install software updates, and synchronize calendar appointments with the display shut and not in use.

The feature currently uses an Intel chip that already consumes little battery life, but the move to ARM would conserve even more power, Bloomberg reported.

It is thought the new Apple chip would expand beyond the Touch Bar to other areas of the Macbook device, including storage and wireless components, in order to take on the additional responsibilities.

Apple and Intel have reportedly declined to comment on the matter.

Intel Headache?

Apple already uses its own A-Series processors inside iPhones and iPads since 2010, and the news that it is seeking to lessen its reliance on Intel chips for its Macbook range may be considered bad news for the chip giant.

But it should be remembered that Macbooks make up a small percentage of the worldwide laptop market, yet the move does demonstrate the challenges Intel is facing from ARM-based processors.

For its part, Apple thinks that by designing its own chips, it can more tightly integrate its hardware and software functions. It also allows it more of a say in the cost of components for its devices.

The Bloomberg sources did however state that Apple has no near-term plans to completely abandon Intel chips for use in its laptops and desktops.

Quiz: How well do you know Apple?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Sphere Chat App Acquired By Twitter

Second startup purchase by a big name tech firm for young British entrepreneur Nick D'Aloisio,…

15 hours ago

Boeing Delays Starliner Launch Until 2022

Glitch with vehicle's propulsion system discovered in August still to be resolved, and crucial uncrewed…

18 hours ago

Oversight Board: Facebook ‘Not Forthcoming’ On VIP Cross-check System

Facebook’s own oversight board has slammed the platform for withholding relevant information about its VIP…

18 hours ago

Samsung Barred From Importing Smartphones Into Russia

Russian court bans Samsung Electronics from importing and selling 61 models of smartphones in Russia…

19 hours ago

Vodafone To Hire 7,000 In Digital Services Push

British mobile giant Vodafone to hire thousands of software engineers to assist in its digital…

22 hours ago

Donald Trump To Launch ‘TRUTH Social’ Media Platform

Third time the charm? After indefinite ban on Twitter, and closure of short-lived website, Donald…

23 hours ago