Apple debuted its custom T1 security chip with the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The chip ran a custom and toned down version of iOS and looked after the operations of the Touch Bar. With the iMac Pro last year, the company debuted the successor to that chip, T2.
This time around, the chip handled far greater low-level system responsibilities including encrypting storage, secure boot, and even offered always-on “Hey Siri” functionality. The same chip is also found inside Apple’s recently unveiled 2018 MacBook Pro lineup and offers the same set of functionality. In fact, it is due to the T2 chip that Apple is able to offer SSDs with speeds of up to 3.1GBps despite hardware level encryption.
However, the same T2 chip is also the cause of kernel and panic issues for many iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro owners. Head over to Apple support forums and you will see complaints from many iMac Pro owners about their system randomly crashing or leading to kernel panics. The issue seems to primarily affect users who have storage devices daisy-chained to the Thunderbolt 3 port of their iMac Pro. The same issue is also being reported by 2018 MacBook Pro owners with storage devices daisy-chained to their machine.
Going through the logs of such crashes reveals the culprit to be BridgeOS which is what the T2 chip runs. The crashes mostly occur when the devices are idle and not under heavy load and in use.
In some cases, Apple is straight up replacing the iMac Pro of affected customers, while in others, it is recommending them to reinstall macOS and turn off all T2 chip related functionality like Power Nap and FileVault. The latter solution has worked for a large number of people but it is not an ideal solution.
Apple is working hard on resolving the issue as the latest macOS 10.13.6 update seems to have updated the kernel version which led to a decrease in the number of crashes. It also recommends affected customers to not use their Apple Watch to unlock their iMac Pro or MacBook Pro, turn off Secure Boot, and every other power management function of their device. That’s definitely not acceptable for machines that cost thousands of grand but again, the company is aware of the issue and is working on a fix.
[Via Digital Trends]