Apple could deliver 3 new Macs with custom chips in 2018

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Apple A4 chip
Johny Srouji’s team is in charge of modem development.
Photo: Apple

Apple is said to be planning “at least three” new Macs with custom security co-processors for 2018. Two of the machines will be updated MacBooks, while the other will be a desktop, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Apple has been designing its own mobile processors for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch since it launched its A4 chip in 2010. This gives the company even greater control over its devices, and allows it to bring its software and hardware closer together for maximum efficiency.

Apple expands its chip reach

Apple has launched new A-series chips every year since the unveiling of the original iPad. In 2013, the company introduced its first motion co-processor, a dedicated chip for tracking movement in the iPhone.

In 2017, Apple also introduced its first GPU integrated into the A11 Bionic chip for the latest iPhones. Prior to that, it launched the W2 wireless chip, found in AirPods and the latest Apple Watch, for improvement Bluetooth connectivity.

Apple wants to push out Qualcomm and Intel

Bloomberg reports that Apple plans to build even more of its own chips in the future. The company is rumored to be working on its own modems that would allow it to push the likes of Qualcomm and Intel out of its supply chain.

It could even develop its own processor for Mac eventually. “Apple watchers believe it’s just a matter of time before the company designs the entire CPU, at which point Intel would lose its fifth-largest customer,” Bloomberg continues.

In the meantime, Apple will continue to integrate its T-series co-processors into more laptops and desktops, the report adds. At least three new machines will debut this year with T-series chips that handle things like security and power management.

T-series chips are currently found in the MacBook Pro, where they process all Touch Bar functions and Touch ID, and in the new iMac Pro.