Published: Tue, November 21, 2017
Technology | By Russell Knight

Apple's iMac Pro will pack an A10 Fusion coprocessor, 'Hey, Siri' support

Apple's iMac Pro will pack an A10 Fusion coprocessor, 'Hey, Siri' support

He further said that the ARM64 processor, an A10 Fusion chip that ran the iPhone 7 and the first for a Mac, would "handle the macOS boot & security process, as expected" in conjunction with Intel's x86 chip, but with the A10 "in control."

Apple's A10 Fusion system-on-a-chip (SoC), the one that powers last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, will feature as a coprocessor inside the upcoming iMac Pro, according to Apple developers who digged inside a publicly available software package. Sure, HomePod will not be coming before at least early 2018.

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Developer Jonathan Levin found evidence of the A10's inclusion when he analyzed the BridgeOS 2.0 image and found several references to the SoC. That's followed by Steve Troughton-Smith offering up some details about the coprocessor from Apple's code.

This won't be the first Mac with custom designed Apple chips, but it will be the first with an A-series. How the supposed A10 Fusion chip in the iMac Pro will differ from other coprocessor technology Apple has used remains to be seen.

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It appears that a more important feature in the computer is SecureBoot, a feature that is a whole new change of direction for the iMac Pro.

Those rumors of Apple using custom ARM chips for more features inside Macs? The first is the ability for the iMac Pro to feature always-on "Hey, Siri" voice command support, similar to what's now available on more recent iPhone devices.

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It also looks like the A10 will be constantly running to manage tasks including "Hey Siri" so expect to be able to holler at your computer from around your home. But if the A10 SoC is responsible for initializing the OS and boot security procedures, it means the x86 CPU is, in a real sense, sitting in the passenger's seat. A firm release date is yet to be set, but Apple has stated that the product will arrive by the end of the year.

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