Apple is supposedly expanding its semi-conductor business by building co-processors for three new Macs this year. Details about these new devices are currently unclear, but is supposed to cover two new MacBooks and a desktop.
Co-processors are something of a specialty for Apple. Deployed with the intention of moving part of the processing workload to a more secure (read: Apple made) processor; these chips are meant to augment the existing SoC instead of replacing it. For instance, the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is controlled by a co-processor instead of the main Intel chip, while the iMac Pro integrates a custom T2 chip for extra security.
Apple has long wavered between building its own processors for Macs and buying them from other manufacturers. The facilities needed to develop and build the processors are usually only profitable on a large scale. A scale that Apple itself doesn’t have; as evident from the company still contracting out manufacturing work for its iPhone (its most profitable product) SoCs to third parties like TSMC.
The original report from Bloomberg also noted how much work Apple is putting into developing its own processors designs. Mostly to reduce its reliance on companies like Qualcomm. Especially after the legal problems that have cropped up between the over the last couple of years.
It’s quite likely that Apple is simply extending the Touch Bar to the rest of the MacBook family, which would satisfy the rumour of new notebooks. After all, the company doesn’t introduce new features to the computers all that often; and this may be too soon to expect something completely revolutionary.