While Apple is no stranger to creating its own processors (iPhones and iPads use A-series SoCs developed in-house), it’s largely relied on Intel’s offerings for its laptops and desktops for the past few years.
The processor will use processor maker ARM’s tech and take on things like the Power Nap feature in MacOS, which allows for syncing calendars as well as downloading emails and software updates while your laptop’s display is shut and powered down.
It’s said to be similar to the Apple’s ARM-based T1 chip that powers the latest MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, which sits above the keyboard and displays contextual action buttons for various apps. However, this new processor will be designed to work alongside the Intel SoCs that Macs run on and allow for even lower power consumption than is presently possible with Power Nap.
Expect to see the chip feature in an upgraded version of the latest generation of MacBook Pros later this year: KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted in a report earlier this month that Apple is likely to release new 12-inch MacBook models with Kaby Lake processors and 16GB RAM options in the second quarter of 2017, which starts in March, as well as a 15-inch MacBook with 32GB RAM sometime in the fourth quarter.