Apple's next-generation silicon should power high-end Macs like the 16-inch MacBook Pro and 27-inch iMac.

The M2 chip, a successor to Apple's current M1 laptop chip for entry-level Mac computers, is said to have gone into mass production before the new Mac models later this year.

Apple M2 is apparently going into mass production

The Apple-designed chip has now gone into mass production, according to a new supply chain report from Nikkei Asia based on sources familiar with the matter. Shipping is to begin as early as July.

Apple's production partner TSMC is apparently building the M2 on its five-nanometer-plus technology (N5P), which is also used to produce the M1 chips.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About the Apple M1 Chip

Apple is nearing the middle of a two-year transition from Intel technology to its own silicon, a process that began in the summer of 2020. So far, the first M1 systems include the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and the Mac Mini and 24-inch iMac.

Speculate on the performance of the Apple M2

Similar to its predecessor, the M2 chip will integrate multiple discrete components on a single chip, a design that is referred to in semiconductor talk as a "system-on-a-chip" or "SoC". The article states that the M1 combines the CPU, GPU, and neural engine (Apple's accelerator for artificial intelligence and machine learning) on ​​a single silicon chip.

The article doesn't reveal anything about the expected M2 speed gains, but it should definitely run faster and cooler than the current M1 processor. That's because Nikkei Asia claims the M2 will be used in Mac notebooks in the second half of this year. According to sources, Apple may also use the chip in other Mac models outside of the MacBook.

Both the 16-inch MacBook Pro from Apple and the 30-inch iMac, with their discrete AMD Radeon GPUs, each with their own pool of high-speed memory, would be the best candidates for this chip.

Bloomberg reported in early 2021 that Apple's upcoming update for the 16-inch MacBook Pro would bring a total of 20 CPU cores. The M1 has an eight-core CPU with four low-power cores and four high-performance cores. In order to bring 12 or 20 CPU cores to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the M2 would have to increase its number of CPU cores considerably.

Related: Why the M1 iPad Pro is an Incredible Upgrade

The 16-inch MacBook Pro can be equipped with a Radeon Pro 5500M / 5600M GPU with 4 GB / 8 GB of dedicated memory, which equates to around five teraflops of graphics processing power. The 27-inch iMac has a Radeon Pro 5300 with 4 GB in the lower range and a Radeon Pro 5700XT with 16 GB in the upper range, which delivers around 8 to 12 teraflops of computing power.

For comparison: the M1 delivers around 2.6 teraflops of GPU performance. To power the 16-inch MacBook Pro or 27-inch iMac, the M2 should double the number of GPU cores from eight to 16. He also has to switch from the 128-bit memory bus to a 256-bit memory bus -bit one.

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About the author

Christian Zibreg
(192 articles published)

Writing words that support message cycles around the world. I help keep Apple blogs going and keep the internet safe. No mouse buttons were damaged while writing.

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