Apple has replaced a component built by Intel that was responsible for regulating the USB and Thunderbolt ports in the M2 MacBook Air with a controller that Apple has developed in-house. This means that all traces of Intel are now completely absent from the most recent Mac.
The repair website iFixit published a dissection of the new MacBook Air earlier this month, providing an in-depth look at the entirely reimagined device and its internal workings. The fact that the most recent iteration of the MacBook Air, in contrast to earlier Macs, comes equipped with USB and Thunderbolt port controllers that have been purpose-built by Apple, is a nifty but mostly unappreciated element.
According to iFixit, they found an “apparently Apple-made Thunderbolt 3 driver, rather than the Intel processors we’re accustomed to.” The new component was first revealed on Twitter earlier today, where it garnered more attention than it otherwise would have.
A few specifics are known about the controllers, including whether they were custom-built by Apple or a third-party manufacturer. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said in May 2021 that Apple intended to “replace the last remaining Intel part with an in-house version of the product.” Current Apple M1 Macs use an Intel component known as a USB Retimer to assist power the USB-C and Thunderbolt ports on the machine. “