Back at its annual WWDC event in June, Apple revealed that a new iMac Pro model would arrive this December. We were told that “the most powerful Mac” it’s ever built would come in 8-Core, 10-Core, and up to 18-Core Xeon CPU configurations, but it seems Apple left out another detail: the presence of an A10 Fusion coprocessor that may enable always-on Siri functionality.
Developers Jonathan Levin, Steve Troughton-Smith, and Guilherme Rambo trawled through the BridgeOS 2.0 software package that’s set to appear on the iMac Pro. It appears that a version of the same processor found in inside the iPhone 7—the A10 Fusion chip—will be used as a separate coprocessor in the upcoming high-end desktop.
In a tweet posted yesterday, Troughton-Smith said the ARM-based chip would likely be responsible for the MacOS boot and security processes, adding that its inclusion will let Apple “experiment with tighter control” of MacOS without “freaking out” the majority of users.
Looks like the iMac Pro's ARM coprocessor is arm64. Seems to handle the macOS boot & security process, as expected; iMac Pro lets Apple experiment with tighter control without the rest of the userbase freaking out. More info & download here: https://t.co/wmbNeVSEZX— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) November 18, 2017
Guilherme Rambo discovered what could be the most interesting find: references to “Hey Siri” support. While Apple brought the digital assistant to its laptops and desktops with the release of macOS Sierra last year, the feature may be upgraded in the iMac Pro to 'always-on.' The A10 chip could constantly be running, even when the computer is switched off, so you may be able to run Siri commands while the iMac Pro is dormant.
Confirmed: "Hey, Siri" is coming to the Mac pic.twitter.com/Dw9bRAzbxD— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) November 18, 2017
Apple never mentioned the A10 Fusion coprocessor or Siri integration when it unveiled the iMac Pro earlier this year, though it did reveal that the base configuration would start at $5000 (Apple claimed a PC workstation with similar specs would cost around $7000). While the company does appear to be bridging the gap between its mobile and desktop/laptop platforms, it doesn’t seem like Face ID will be making its way to the iMac Pro just yet.
We’ll find more about the A10 Fusion processor and Siri integration when the iMac Pro launches next month.