Apple Preparing Faster M2 Chip for Next-Gen MacBook Pro
Apple is readying its more powerful, next-generation "M2" chip for redesigned MacBook Pro models, according to recent reports.
According to Nikkei Asia, Apple's next-generation custom silicon chip for the Mac, tentatively dubbed the "M2" chip, entered production in April. The processors take at least three months to produce and could begin shipping to Apple as early as July, in time for incorporation in the MacBook Pro, according to the publication's sources.
The M2 chip is expected to bring major performance improvements to the upcoming MacBook Pro models. Produced by Apple supplier TSMC, the custom silicon M1 chip made its debut late last year in the Mac mini, MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro, bringing considerable performance improvements and battery efficiency over the Intel chips it replaced.
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 version of the chip.
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 high-end Intel machines, according to Gurman.
He has now clarified that Apple's next-generation chip 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.
The new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are rumored to feature new designs, brighter panels with higher contrast, function keys with no Touch Bar, more ports, and a MagSafe connector for charging.
The new MacBook Pro models with the next-generation Apple silicon chip are widely anticipated to launch in the second half of 2021, potentially as soon as this summer or even at WWDC next week. For more on what to expect, make sure to check out our dedicated MacBook Pro rumor guide, which contains all the details we know about Apple's new machines so far.