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Possible Mac Pro 'compute module' discovered in iOS 16.4 code

Mac Pro could use changeable modules after all

Code reverencing a device referred to as "ComputeModule" in iOS 16.4 could be related to M-series Mac Pro components or something else entirely.

The Mac Pro with Apple Silicon processors is almost an inevitability at this point, though no one is exactly sure what form it will take. Recent rumors suggest Apple will continue to use the old Mac Pro casing despite likely lacking the ability to be expanded with PCI-E GPUs.

That doesn't mean Apple isn't trying to get some kind of expandability in its future pro desktop. Code discovered by 9to5Mac in iOS 16.4's developer disk image in the Xcode 16.4 beta suggests that a device called a "ComputeModule" exists.

A device class referred to as "ComputeModule" in iOS 16.4 could be anything. The original report speculates that it is a modular CPU component for the Mac Pro, but also admits it could be for Apple's Mixed Reality headset or even a Raspberry Pi-like device. If it is for the Mac Pro, it seems more likely to us that it is some kind of next-generation Afterburner card, or a video extension card.

Code references can uncover some hidden details, especially ones that might slip through into a beta. This particular discovery might hold some importance to the Mac Pro, but its location in iOS 16.4 leaves some doubt.

Perhaps Apple will allow developers to install specific computation modules to simulate environments on their Mac. Whatever it is, there are at least two distinct devices referred to as ComputeModule13,1 and ComputeModule13,3.

Apple's push to roll out Apple Silicon to every Mac halted at the Mac Pro — causing the company to miss its two-year deadline. Interest in the potential Mac Pro is at an all-time high, despite it being for an incredibly niche audience.

Apple is expected to reveal the Mac Pro at any time in 2023. Perhaps it could arrive alongside Apple's rumored headset at WWDC in June, though at this point, it is anyone's guess.