Apple Silicon M2 Chip Coming to Wave of New Macs
Apple's more powerful "M2" chip is set to come to a wave of new Macs, bringing significant performance and efficiency improvements to a range of new models, according to recent reports.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously said that Apple is working on higher-end Apple silicon chips that are expected to "significantly outpace" the performance of the latest Macs that still contain Intel chips, and explained that Apple's next two M-series chips will be even "more ambitious" than expected. The new chips will be "several times faster" than the current ones that Apple uses in its high-end Intel-based machines, Gurman explained.
Following the M1 chip, Apple's next-generation custom silicon chip is tentatively set to be called the "M2" chip, according to supply chain sources. The chip is reportedly destined to be implemented in the upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, and a high-end version of the Mac mini, according to Gurman.
Bloomberg has now clarified that Apple's next-generation chip for the MacBook Pro and Mac mini will be an iteration on the M1 chip, featuring a 10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores, with 16-core or 32-core GPU options.
The next-generation Apple silicon chip will also apparently support up to 64GB of memory, compared to the current maximum of 16GB. This would be in line with the current Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is available with up to 64GB of RAM.
The new chip is also said to support additional Thunderbolt ports for expanded connectivity. Mac mini, which was criticized with its M1 variant that launched last year for having only two Thunderbolt ports, would benefit in particular from the added connectivity.
A more powerful M-series chip is also set to be implemented in a higher-end version of the MacBook Air and the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, Gurman explained. Currently codenamed "Staten," that chip will apparently include the same eight cores as the M1 chip but it will run faster. The chip will also include a larger number of graphics cores, with nine or ten core configurations.
The M2 chip is expected to bring major performance and efficiency improvements to the upcoming Macs. With an 8-core CPU, up to an 8-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, a unified memory architecture, and more, Apple says the M1 chip delivers up to 3.5x faster system performance, up to 6x faster graphics performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning, while enabling battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs. Similar performance leaps are expected from the next Apple silicon chips for the Mac.
According to Nikkei Asia, Apple's next-generation custom silicon chip for the Mac entered production in April. The processors take at least three months to produce and could begin shipping to Apple as early as July for the new range of Macs.