Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
iMac Operating Systems Software Apple Hardware Technology

iMac Pro Will Have An A10 Fusion Coprocessor For 'Hey, Siri' Support and More Secure Booting, Says Report (theverge.com) 164

According to Apple firmware gurus Steven Troughton-Smith and Guilherme Rambo, the upcoming iMac Pro will feature an A10 Fusion coprocessor to enable two interesting new features. "The first is the ability for the iMac Pro to feature always-on 'Hey, Siri' voice command support, similar to what's currently available on more recent iPhone devices," reports The Verge. "[T]he bigger implication of the A10 Fusion is for a less user-facing function, with Apple likely to use the coprocessor to enable SecureBoot on the iMac Pro." From the report: In more practical terms, it means that Apple will be using the A10 Fusion chip to handle the initial boot process and confirm that software checks out, before passing things off to the regular x86 Intel processor in your Mac. It's not something that will likely change how you use your computer too much, like the addition of "Hey, Siri" support will, but it's a move toward Apple experimenting with an increased level of control over its software going forward.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

iMac Pro Will Have An A10 Fusion Coprocessor For 'Hey, Siri' Support and More Secure Booting, Says Report

Comments Filter:
  • Secure for who? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by davecb ( 6526 ) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Monday November 20, 2017 @07:49PM (#55591611) Homepage Journal
    Apple is motivated to protect their customers at the moment, but if there is enough pressure or investment from those wishing otherwise, the secure coprocessor becomes just another back door.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Apple is motivated to protect their customers at the moment

      Apple is motivated to keep its customers locked into its distribution channel. Never blame conspiracies for what can easily be explained by greed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    will the thing have an "emoji touch bar" or actual function keys?

    people asked for a competitively priced powerful computer with a powerful, upgradable GPU, with internal expansion options.

    we get a $5000 iMac with a dedicated Siri chip.

    christ on a cracker.

    • by bobm ( 53783 )

      I had an iMac a couple generations back but once I realized that there was no upgrade path I moved to a MacPro and a couple Dell monitors.

      I don't think I'll continue down this path since the OS hasn't really brought anything to the table for power users (people who can touch type).

      I was really hoping to get a 12 core 64G laptop by now but for now, in the mac world, 16G is enough.

      I'm not sure who is in control of the desktop/server OS anymore but it can't be someone who uses it every day. They should spin

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @07:54PM (#55591637)

    Waiting for the next MacMini to just be a cluster of ARM chips.

    If Apple does it and it works it means everyone else is going to start doing it.

    • by AC-x ( 735297 )

      Psst, kid, want an ARM desktop [wikipedia.org]?

      • Eh. I'd rather have something the size of a Mini with a load more cores. Something with 4x A10X chips. 16GB of RAM and an SSD.

        • by AC-x ( 735297 )

          I mean, at that point what's the advantage of having ARM CPUs over an x86 chip?

  • Is it me or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @07:54PM (#55591645)
    do you want your computer listening all the time? Is there any way to turn Siri off short of pulling the plug out?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      do you want your computer listening all the time? Is there any way to turn Siri off short of pulling the plug out?

      [System Preferences --> Siri --> uncheck "Enable Siri"]

      • Will this just turn off response, or will this still send audio to Apple's clown servers in case someone turns Siri on in the next 5 seconds?
        • Re:Is it me or... (Score:5, Informative)

          by TheFakeTimCook ( 4641057 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @08:46PM (#55591939)

          Will this just turn off response, or will this still send audio to Apple's clown servers in case someone turns Siri on in the next 5 seconds?

          It deciphers the Hey Siri! Phrase on-chip. Nothing is sent to Apple until AFTER you utter the Trigger Phrase.

          • Apple's clown servers

            Come now, I don't think Apple runs Windows Server
            • They don't, but for a long time most of iCloud was hosted on Azure. I think it's mostly moved to Apple's own datacentres now though.
          • > It deciphers the Hey Siri! Phrase on-chip

            Do we know whether the pharase is hard-coded? Can we change it to, say, "Hail Satan" or something?

            • > It deciphers the Hey Siri! Phrase on-chip

              Do we know whether the pharase is hard-coded? Can we change it to, say, "Hail Satan" or something?

              No, it cannot be changed. That's one of the reasons we KNOW that it is being recognized on-chip. They didn't (yet) build the entire Siri "recognition engine" into the A10 and above; just enough to recognize that particular utterance in a speaker-independent way.

              • Logic fail. You cannot "KNOW", there's no difference between it being processed in the cloud with " hey siri" and "hey Satan" if the server only responds to "hey siri". It's not a valid assumption.
                • Logic fail. You cannot "KNOW", there's no difference between it being processed in the cloud with " hey siri" and "hey Satan" if the server only responds to "hey siri".

                  It's not a valid assumption.

                  Fair enough; but This [apple.com] validates my assumption quite nicely, don'tcha think?

                  BTW, that took .05 secs of Googling. Perhaps, next time you might try that BEFORE you resort to easily-disproven sarcastic bullshit.

                  • I had already seen that when I replied. It's irrelevant. I wasn't disputing how it works. I didn't have to look at the link, I was merely pointing out what you took to be true wasn't actually proof. It's like saying I KNOW that the Earth is round because I never fell off the edge. It wasn't sarcastic, it was just pointing out your logic was wrong.
                    • I had already seen that when I replied. It's irrelevant. I wasn't disputing how it works.

                      I didn't have to look at the link, I was merely pointing out what you took to be true wasn't actually proof. It's like saying I KNOW that the Earth is round because I never fell off the edge.

                      It wasn't sarcastic, it was just pointing out your logic was wrong.

                      My "logic" was based on many many years as an embedded Dev., plus the fact that the trigger phrase wasn't changeable, suggesting a "simple" dedicated-hardware speech recognition system, and additionally suggested by the fact that the "Hey Siri" wakeup required an update of the SoC to happen without having the iPhone plugged into AC Power (because just a small subsystem in the SoC had to remain awake to listen/decipher the Trigger Phrase).

                      So, It was a case of deductive reasoning (or is it inductive? I can't

  • Isn't this more like an ARM A10 powered iMac Pro with an Intel x86 coprocessor for running existing legacy code on?
    The ARM handles booting up the machine and a lot of the security controls.

  • Seems to me all they want is to prevent another hackintosh-run by their most loyal and profitable customer base (read: the pro artist). I bet that if this happens to be the case, they won't launch another Mac Pro in at least another 5 years. And obviously price will stay mostly unchanged throughout as the good Nintendo Apple is on this subject.

    • Seems to me all they want is to prevent another hackintosh-run by their most loyal and profitable customer base (read: the pro artist). I bet that if this happens to be the case, they won't launch another Mac Pro in at least another 5 years. And obviously price will stay mostly unchanged throughout as the good Nintendo Apple is on this subject.

      If Apple wanted to quash the Hacintosh community, they could have done that back in 2006.

      • I personally disagree for a multitude of reasons.

        First would be that Apple simply might have not wanted it enough in the past as it does now, since now the scale of hackintosh use is affecting their economies of scale. Back then it simply didn't matter.

        Second, the only real thing a company can do is prepare (it's rarely enough) and proactively demotivate hacking. I like to look at the gaming consoles market* as a great example of how relevant OR not piracy protection can be to different companies, due to di

        • I personally disagree for a multitude of reasons.

          First would be that Apple simply might have not wanted it enough in the past as it does now, since now the scale of hackintosh use is affecting their economies of scale.

          Citation, please? I would imagine that the Hackintosh community has never risen above the 1 - 2% world. Remember, you have to consider how many people have NO idea how to even start creating a Hackintosh, let alone solving any problems along the way.

          I have built PUH-lenty of white-box PCs, even back in the days of DIP switches and IRQ conflicts (and also later on), and I STILL would have difficulty convincing myself that creating a Hackintosh would be worth the potential "gotchas" with WiFi, Sound, Thunderb

          • Very fair points there.

            About the not wanting it enough, that is, of course, my own speculation (hence the use of "might", and after that my reasoning). The hackintosh numbers increasing, among pros, I explain a bit more below, but it's also speculation.

            In the end we'll just have to wait and see why the inclusion of the ARM cpu. There are many things this can bring to the table, from basic branding (like having some shinny, 60fps fully animated "bios" or "fastboot") to interoperability/recovery or even flat

            • Very fair points there.

              Thanks for acknowledging that! It's actually getting pretty rare on /. to have CIVIL discourse with others... ;-)

              About the not wanting it enough, that is, of course, my own speculation (hence the use of "might", and after that my reasoning). The hackintosh numbers increasing, among pros, I explain a bit more below, but it's also speculation.

              In the end we'll just have to wait and see why the inclusion of the ARM cpu. There are many things this can bring to the table, from basic branding (like having some shinny, 60fps fully animated "bios" or "fastboot") to interoperability/recovery or even flat out low power. Hell, even using it for not having to replicate the "neural engine" and provide FaceID just like in the iPhone X.

              There's actually a precedent for that last bit: You know that the original Macintosh was SUPPOSED to have an MC6809 Microprocessor; but nobody wanted to port Andy Hertzfeld's(?) work on QuickDraw and its Overlapping Windows that he had done for the Lisa (which had an MC68k in it), and so they just put a 68k in the Mac, too!

              Of course the Mac community, especially the Pros, will likely not resort to piracy or Hackingtosh by default, but from a look at the amount youtube instructionals by very popular personalities, or the scale, detail and variety of hardware compatibility lists [tonymacx86.com] (going all the way up to high-end GPUs and CPUs) really goes to show who has been building Mac workstations recently, and these will resort to piracy if it makes things simpler. As I said before, they are already in the shit if caught.

              I would imagine the Looooooooong wait for a Mac Pro refresh isn't helping

          • Building a hackitosh is too overwhelming for you, therefore the numbers must be low? Logic fail. Fuck man, it's just reading what smarter people than you have done and also doing that. Too difficult to read?
            • Building a hackitosh is too overwhelming for you, therefore the numbers must be low?

              Logic fail.

              Fuck man, it's just reading what smarter people than you have done and also doing that. Too difficult to read?

              That's twisting what I said, and meant.

              It isn't too hard for me, I just don't have the need or the inclination or the time to mess with it.

              And you should very well know that not every challenge has been discovered, or solved, by "smarter people".

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      How do you equate "profitable" with "hackintosh user"?

      • Yeah it might have needed a bit of context - in recent years, pro artists, despite initially buying Mac Pros, eventually needed performance boost and upgradeability not available due to the stagnation of the hardware, as there was no new release or upgrade to the Pro for years.

        Others, like buyers who were due for an upgrade at the mid-life point of the Mac Pro (assume they didn't buy Mac Pros at launch for a multitude of reasons), were left an easy choice for hackintosh use, since the Mac Pro proposition di

  • The direction Apple keeps moving towards never ceases to amaze me.

    Granted, it probably is a good thing to prevent hipsters and grandmothers' machines from getting infected with some sort of boot-level trojans and other sophisticated malware, but in the process of doing this it would seem as if Apple is moving closer and closer to a time when the rest of us long-time OS-X users will just altogether give up on this new hardware because it arguably has gotten to the point where it comes encumbered with too
    • Yes, ALL Tech companies are trying to get to the complete walled garden approach where you will only be able to run very limited apps from the App Store only. Next version of gatekeeper to enforce and they will probably stop us from booting from any other drive with pre Has already done this with Windows 10S The goal is to essentially turn the Mac from a powerful general purpose computer into a mere appliance like the IPad is. This is all down to Apple and Steve Jobs in the first place with the original A
      • The Mac is a Unix system, there always will be "apt-get" equivalents for the Mac, like brew, port or fink.

      • Your argument would make sense, if not for the fact that Apple has been moving in the other direction recently. For example, you can now install any app on iOS devices that you compile for yourself. A useful feature for geeks, not so much for average consumers.

        As to sandboxing, the principle of least privilege is good engineering. As long as the user can define the restrictions and can run things with full privileges when required.

    • Maybe it's just people such as me becoming overly suspicious and paranoid..

      Yes, you are being unreasonably suspicious and paranoid. Consider for a moment the fact that Apple has not lifted a finger to interfere with the hackintosh scene.... The OS is freely downloadable and commodity hardware can be assembled and deployed as a MacPro without the premium price tag. In your post, you're suggesting there is some kind of trend at play here. If that were the case, Apple would be battling the hackintosh scene b

  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @08:11PM (#55591737) Homepage Journal

    Meaning you can't install an alt-OS to it?

  • ...asset, would be way to cool...
  • I'm surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @08:21PM (#55591803)

    A couple dozen comments in, and no one has pointed out the silliness of touting "Hey Siri" as a defining feature for a supposed pro workstation.

    • It's not the only thing, of course -- if you look at the iMac Pro page on the Apple website, the first thing they mention, is "18 cores, power to the pro".

      But I think they mention the whole Hey Siri thing because raw specs alone are no longer enough to base their marketing on. It's like cars, where the presence of smartphone options can make or break the deal.

    • You mean like JARVIS from the Iron Man movies?

      JARVIS, start a new project.
      "New project created. Shall I copy this to the corporate servers?"

      I like that. JARVIS, begin automated assembly. Fabricate it. Paint it.
      "Assembly commenced. Estimated completion time, five hours."

      JARVIS, what is the altitude record for manned aircraft?
      "85,000 feet, sir."
      Give me a weather report, check for aircraft in the area, and listen in on ATC.

      I don't know, I'd think having this level of voice command might be helpful for even

      • "JARVIS, send an SMS to Dr. Strange confirming lunch... and do it as a 3-D talking poop emoji"

        • "JARVIS, send an SMS to Dr. Strange confirming lunch... and do it as a 3-D talking poop emoji"

          "Assembly commenced. Estimated completion time, five hours."

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @08:21PM (#55591805)
    With all the recent news about potential vulnerabilities in Intel's Management Engine, I wonder if Apple's motivation for this is to bypass Intel's ME black box and replace it with something they have complete control over.
  • What would be nice is if all my Applications ran on my iOS devices and all my Apps ran on my MacOS devices. Ooo... We could just have a unified OS that adapts to the hardware. How radical would that be! Too bad Apple is vehemently against such simplification. I really want all the power of what ever machine I'm using without the different OSs getting in the way. Apple has created Babylon with all their different OSs.

    Apple, under Jobs, did good with figuring out the niches and filling them appropriately. Now

    • Tim Cook is into filling different niches.
    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      Both macOS and iOS came into existence under Jobs. And, if you ignore the limited-hardware OSes (watchOS and tvOS), they have a grand total of 2. Not exactly an unmanageable set.

  • I'm not seeing this put into all Macs just because it would add to the cost. It makes a difference on a $1000 computer.

  • More secure booting. So it will take at least an eleven year old to crack it?
  • Is it just me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iggymanz ( 596061 )

    or are there others who feel that people at work who talk to their computer should be beaten to a pulp with a lead pipe? Since the mid 1990s there has always been some inconsiderate two legged piece of shit who tries that fad at about 3 year intervals.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @11:06PM (#55592539)

    This could be the great OS convergence that Apple users have been waiting for.

  • If Apple doesn't get off their collective ass and start updating their products they are doomed to fail.

    Hey Apple, Steve Jobs would be firing most of your asses by now, since your latest hardware is lame as crap.

  • but if you want enough memory to browse the web, or god forbid run pages. it's gonna cost ya...

  • Apple success inertia is such that even "Apple releases new emoji" makes the headlines. This story gives a sense of "inertia is fading out". In a couple years, this news will be of nobody's interest.
  • Apple is just implementing more blocks to actually running their PC OS in emulation.

  • It sounds like they are planning on setting up something similar to Intel Management Engine (ME). This opens the host computer up to a whole range of persistent attacks. This is probably why so many people are working on disabling this from running on Intel boxes [1].

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iffTJ1vPCSo [youtube.com]

"You can't get very far in this world without your dossier being there first." -- Arthur Miller

Working...