Apple Silicon M2 Chips Reportedly Enter Production For Next-Gen MacBook Pros.
Apple’s M1 “Apple Silicon” hit the market with a big splash in late 2020. By and large when it launched inside the refreshed MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini.
The SoC is currently available in an 8-core CPU configuration with either a 7- or 8-core GPU onboard paired with 8GB or 16GB of RAM.
Apple Silicon M2 Chips for Next-Gen Macbook
Apple’s custom next-generation Mac processor entered mass production this month, claims a new report today from Nikkei Asia. Tentatively dubbed the “M2” after Apple’s M1 chip.
The processors take at least three months to produce and could begin shipping as early as July in time for incorporation in Apple’s next line of MacBooks, according to the paper’s sources.
Most notably, the M1 chip only supports a maximum of two Thunderbolt ports. In addition, allows for just one external display output. For instance, in the fall Apple launched the two-Thunderbolt-port 13-inch MacBook Pro model with the M1chip. However, the 4-port 13-inch MacBook Pro remains in the lineup.
The M1 chip is made up of an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU with unified RAM architecture. Last year, Bloomberg said Apple was developing a successor to the M1 featuring 20 CPU cores destined for its high-end laptops. ARM Mac desktops like the Mac Pro or iMac Pro could feature 32-core chip designs.
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Also while the M1 chip delivers incredible power efficiency and raw power. It does not outstrip higher-end Intel Macs on all benchmarks. Specifically, the integrated graphics of the M1 chip do not match up to dedicated graphics cards included in high-spec iMacs or MacBook Pros.
The expectation is that the M2 chip (or “M1X,” however it is branded) will add more CPU and GPU performance, more Thunderbolt lanes, and allow for at least two external displays.
In today’s report, Nikkei says that the M2 will continue to integrate CPU, GPU, and the Neural Engine on the same chip. However, it does not go into any more detail on the chip’s specifications.
The Bottom Line
According to Nikkei, the next generation of Apple silicon — tentatively dubbed “M2” — has entered the production cycle. Chip ramps are slow, and Nikkei indicates that beginning production now means the chips would be available in mass supply as soon as July.
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This schedule likely means they will be included in new MacBook models in the fall, probably the upcoming revamped MacBook Pro line.
Apple said last year that it would take about two years for the company to fully ditch Intel chipsets for Apple Silicon such as the M1.