The chip, with the name T310, is being designed to take over functionality for low power operation while Intel, the incumbent supplier, retains its place for high performance operation. The report does not state which of ARM's processor cores the T310 would be based on, nor whether it would be in a single, dual or quad-core form.
The move to self-design of processors and get them made at foundries is a part of trend at Apple and other companies. Apple's A-series processors have been used in iPads and iPhones for many years.
The Bloomberg report points out that even within MacBook computers this would not be a first. Apple’s first ARM-based Mac chip, known as T1, was introduced as part of MacBook Pro update last October. This chip powers the Touch Bar – a screen built into the keyboard.
The report, which references unnamed sources, states that Apple plans to off-load a feature marketed as "power nap" to the T310. Power nap allows the computer to function in a background mode while the lid is down and the display is off. So it can receive emails and keep documents and calendar events synchronized.
Although the feature uses little power when run on the main Intel processor it would use even less on an ARM-based processor, the report said. The T310 may appear in a MacBook Pro computer planned for introduction later in 2017.
Related links and articles: