Apple T2 chip might crash iMac Pro, MacBook Pro

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The Apple T2 chip could be the source of mysterious crashes afflicting two of Apple's newest computers.
The Apple T2 chip could be the source of mysterious crashes afflicting two of Apple's newest computers.
Photo: IFIXIT

Some iMac Pro units are subject to occasional hard crashes. The reasons are hard to pin down, but fingers are starting to point at the Apple T2 chip inside this computer. 

There’s also one in the 2018 MacBook Pro, and this new device is seemingly prone to the same problem.   

The Apple Support Communities are apparently the place to go to try to troubleshoot the crashes. One still-active thread has been going on since mid-January.

The owners of the affected computers report a kernel panic and a note in the computer’s log mentioning “Bridge OS.” Kernel panic sounds like a corn-themed video game from 1982, but it’s really the technical term for macOS encountering a problem so severe it’s forced to shut down. The log is used to (hopefully) diagnose what went wrong.

Apple T2 chip and Bridge OS

The reference to Bridge OS would seem to indicate that the problem lies somewhere in the Apple T2 chip. This co-processor does so many jobs it has its own operating system separate from macOS. This is called (you guessed it) Bridge OS.

The T2 with Bridge OS is the disk controller for the hard drive, it adds intelligence to the FaceTime Camera, includes a secure enclave, and even oversees the macOS boot up process. It doesn’t actually run macOS though. That’s done by an Intel CPU.

The difficulties diagnosing the kernel panics afflicting the iMac Pro apparently stem from Bridge OS wearing so many hats. Those with the problem have been told a variety of possible fixes, from not daisychaining their peripherals to completely reinstalling macOS. Sometimes these remedies work, sometimes not.

2018 MacBook Pro and Bridge OS crash

With the recent release of new MacBook Pro versions, the kernel panics seemingly caused by Bridge OS are appearing in this device too.

“You iMac Pro folks should throw a welcome party for all of us new 2018 MacBook Pro users. These new laptops also have the new T2 chips and guess what? The same Bridge OS crashes that you are seeing,” wrote a user calling himself krypttic on the Apple Support Communities.

He’s not alone. User Andrew Preece reported “Having received my new 15″ MBP yesterday, incorporating the new T2 chip, I have experienced two BridgeOS crashes in the past 18 hours.”

The poor 2018 MacBook Pro can’t seem to catch a break. First there were questions about its keyboard — now happily cleared up — and then there were issues with thermal throttling — now also resolved. Owners of this new laptop, and people with the iMac Pro, surely hope this Bridge OS issue will also see a fix in the near future.

Source: Digital Trends