Apple Readying M2 Pro and M2 Max Chips for Next-Gen MacBook Pro
Apple is readying the "M2 Pro" and "M2 Max" chips for next-generation Macs, including the high-end MacBook Pro, according to recent reports.
"M2 Pro" and "M2 Max" are presumed to succeed the M1 Pro and M1 Max custom silicon chips, and Apple is already believed to be testing these chips internally. Just as the M1 Pro and M1 Max are scaled-up versions of the M1 chip, the M2 Pro and M2 Max will likely be based on the "M2" chip.
The M2 chip is expected to debut in the 2022 redesigned MacBook Air. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the chip will have the same 8-core CPU as the M1. It is expected to have additional GPU cores, with 9 and 10-core GPU options, up from the 7 and 8-core GPU options in the original M1 chip. There may also be speed and efficiency improvements due to the chip being built on a smaller node.
Following the way that the M1 Pro and M1 Max are built on the M1 chip, the M2 Pro and M2 Max could feature the same number of CPU cores as their predecessors, but add GPU cores and benefit from overall speed and efficiency improvements.
Late last year, a report from The Information laid out the alleged roadmap for Apple silicon in the coming years, and explained that Apple is working on successors to the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip that feature more cores and will be manufactured with an enhanced version of TSMC's 5nm fabrication process.
Further in the future, those second-generation chips will apparently be succeeded by MacBook Pro chips with up to 40 compute cores that are fabricated using TSMC's 3nm process by 2023.
It may be some time before the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are released, according to a report from Taiwan's Commercial Times. Apple is apparently planning to update its custom silicon chips for the Mac every 18 months, unlike the iPhone and Apple Watch, which get a new processor every year. In accordance with this timescale, the M2 chip will allegedly launch in the second half of 2022, followed by the M2 Pro and M2 Max in the first half of 2023.
This timeframe broadly lines up with Gurman's expectations. He believes that Apple will not launch new MacBook Pro models with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chip until 2023, with the only new MacBook Pro model this year being a refreshed entry-level model with a 13-inch display and the less powerful M2 chip.
Beyond the M2 Pro and M2 Max, not much else is known about the next-generation MacBook Pro models, but ports with newer specifications, Face ID, 5G connectivity, and OLED displays are plausible expectations at this early stage.