Apple’s enhanced T2 silicon brings “Hey Siri” to the Mac platform for the first time

Apple today refreshed its MacBook Pro notebook lineup with the latest Intel chips, twice the RAM and other goodies, including an enhanced version of the company’s second-generation T2 coprocessor that now brings “Hey Siri” to the Mac platform for the first time.

Tucked away as a side-note in the press release announcing the upgraded MacBook Pros is a mention of the enhanced Apple T2 chip that the company says delivers improved system security and the “Hey Siri” feature to the upgraded machines.

An in-house designed cryptographic coprocessor based on ARM technology and featuring a dedicated Secure Enclave, T2 offloads background listening of the “Hey Siri” phrase from the power-hungry Intel chip to the power-sipping T2 silicon.

Apple describes it as follows:

Introducing the Apple T2 chip — second‑generation custom Mac silicon designed by Apple to make MacBook Pro even more secure. Featured on the 13- and 15‑inch models with Touch Bar, the Apple T2 chip includes a Secure Enclave coprocessor that provides the foundation for secure boot and encrypted storage capabilities.

It also consolidates many discrete controllers, including the system management controller, audio controller and SSD controller, into one. And the Apple T2 chip brings a familiar voice to MacBook Pro — Hey Siri is always ready to open apps, find documents, play music or answer your questions.

Like its predecessor, the T2 chip also serves as a secure enclave for encrypted keys and handles system functions such as secure system boot, audio control, solid state storage and enhanced imaging processing for the built-in camera.

The T2 chip was first introduced in the 2017 iMac Pro.