Thursday, January 4, 2018

The T2 Chip Makes the iMac Pro the Start of a Mac Revolution

Jason Snell (Hacker News):

On most Macs, there are discrete controllers for audio, system management and disk drives. But the T2 handles all these tasks. The T2 is responsible for controlling the iMac Pro’s stereo speakers, internal microphones, and dual cooling fans, all by itself.


As for the disk controller? There isn’t one—or more accurately, the disk controller is built into the T2 itself. This gives the T2 complete control over internal storage on the iMac Pro. This has some major benefits in terms of speed and security. Every bit of data stored on an iMac Pro’s SSD is encrypted on the fly by the T2, so that if a nefarious person tried to pull out the storage chips and read them later, they’d be out of luck.


This new boot process means there’s also a new utility for Mac users to get to know: Startup Security Utility, which you can only access by booting into Recovery mode by holding down Command-R while starting up. Startup Security Utility gives the T2 guidance about just how strict it should be when judging whether it should boot your computer.

Update (2018-01-05): @nurtopsc:

Everyone is talking about Meltdown & Spectre, but no one is really talking about exploits enabled by the Intel Management Engine. I think Apple’s T2 solves this.

Update (2018-01-08): See also: Tim Perfitt and Rich Trouton.

Update (2018-01-16): Pepijn Bruienne:

If you didn’t spot it yet, it’s the apparent existence of an “Erase all content and settings” feature for macOS. As I noted in November, this would be possible with the iMac Pro’s T2 via mobile_obliterator

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I fear the Mac will soon get locked down like the iPhone. :(

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