On That ARM Chip in the iMac Pro »

Eric Slivka at MacRumors has rounded up a weekend of tweets from Steve Troughton-Smith, Guilherme Rambo and Jonathan Levin concerning the iMac Pro:

…the upcoming iMac Pro appears to feature an A10 Fusion chip with 512 MB of RAM. While the full functionality of the A10 chip isn’t yet known, it appears the chip will enable support for “Hey Siri” functionality, potentially even when the iMac Pro is turned off.

The A10 looks like it can do a lot more than just Hey Siri, as Steve points out:

In short, the A10 may first fire up BridgeOS, then boot macOS once a set of security and system integrity checks are passed.

There are a lot of questions here, but one thing seems settled: Face ID isn’t present in what we know about the iMac Pro. That’s a real bummer, as I was hoping to see the technology first surface in the iMac Pro.1

That aside, there is a ton of interesting stuff going on with the iMac Pro. It may be used to usher in a new era of Mac security and complexity, perhaps at the expense of pro users’ tinkering habits. Hopefully we’ll find out soon enough.

  1. As the iMac Pro is shipping with an A10, and not the new A11, I assume it doesn’t have the Secure Enclave and neural network support required for Face ID. The iMac Pro may have come together before the A11 was really ready to go, or maybe the chip’s ability to store just one face was seen as a bigger limitation on the Mac than it is on the iPhone.