Towards the end of 2016, Apple faced an intense backlash from MacBook users over battery life issues. But the Cupertino giant now intends to design its own silicon chips for MacBooks that are meant to improve battery conditions, reports Bloomberg. This low-power processor is expected to work alongside the Intel chips currently powering the device, instead of replacing the same.
This is, however, not the first time Apple is developing its own processors to power their devices. It has already been using ARM-based chips within the iPad and iPhone to handle additional functionality. Sources privy to the matter are of the opinion that this new chip, codenamed T310, is being developed to offload the Intel chips from handling standard battery features.
This processor will be responsible for the lower-power mode functionality on the MacBook Pro i.e popularly known as Power Nap. It will reportedly handle basic tasks such as – retrieving e-mails, installing software updates, and calendar appointments when the display is shut or computer is asleep.
These tasks are currently relegated to the main Intel processor but Apple now plans to shift them to this new low-power ARM-based chip. It will enable the company to save some precious battery juice in the process. The development of this new chip is being undertaken by Apple to avoid stunted battery concerns with its upcoming models. These concerns were taken into account by Consumer Reports and it refused to recommend the MacBook Pro. Later, it gained formal recommendation but their battery testing methods are flawed.
The aforementioned report suggests that Apple is planning to design some silicon similar to that already being used to power the Touch Bar feature. Cupertino has already embedded its very first in-house designed chip, the T1, in the new MacBook Pro. This chip power the second display that’s been embedded above the keyboard in place of the function keys. This touchscreen has this separate chip that enables users to access app shortcuts, edit videos, DJ and send emojis with just a tap. It also includes a secure enclave that powers safe payments and stores biometric data for the fingerprint sensor.
This development can also be seen as a step forward in Apple’s ambitions to completely develop their own silicon to power their devices. It doesn’t want to be restricted to designing chips to power hand-held devices but also power-saving, load-handling chips for its popular Macs as well. This new chip is expected to first make an appearance in the upgraded MacBook Pro models that are planned for release later this year.