iMac Pro packs A10 Fusion chip for always-on ‘Hey Siri’

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iMac Pro
iMac Pro won't use Intel Xeon exclusively.
Photo: Apple

iMac Pro packs an A10 Fusion processor with 512MB of RAM, according to Apple software. The chip will likely be dedicated to handling things like macOS boot, as well as always-on “Hey Siri.”

Apple’s own chips become even more impressive every year, allowing iPhone and iPad to easily outperform their rivals, despite fewer cores and slower clock speeds. They’re not quite ready to power Apple’s desktop and notebook computers just yet, however.

iMac Pro has an A10 Fusion chip

That doesn’t mean they can’t play a part. Apple uses a custom T1 processor in its latest MacBook Pro to power its Touch Bar and Touch ID. And in the upcoming iMac Pro, it looks like an A10 Fusion chip will be used for tasks like booting, security, and Siri.

Evidence of the A10 was discovered by iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith in Apple’s latest BridgeOS 2.0 package. Meanwhile, screenshots that confirm Hey Siri is coming to the Mac were found by Guilherme Rambo.

Using a dedicated ARM chip to handle things like security allows Apple to “experiment with tighter control without the rest of the userbase freaking out,” Troughton-Smith explains.

The A10 Fusion chip, released last September, was first packed into iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. A faster A10X Fusion powers the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It will be the first A-series chip to be integrated into a Mac.

But it almost certainly won’t be the last. It seems Apple is increasingly relying on ARM chips to take over low-level computing tasks on Mac, and it is likely all of its desktop and notebook machines will get one in the coming years.

iMac Pro also packs Xeon

iMac Pro’s primary processors are workstation-class Intel Xeon chips. They will be available in 8-, 10-, and 18-core varieties, with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz. They’ll be combined with AMD Vega graphics and up to 128GB of RAM.