M2 Variants in the works
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is currently in the process of testing a number of variants of its rumoured M2 chip. There are many as nine new machines currently in the testing phase that contain Apple’s next-generation chip design.
The information was discovered in developer logs via third-party apps in the Mac App Store. And Macrumors has provided further detail surrounding the rumoured new machines. They state the following Macs are in production:
- A MacBook Air with an M2 chip that features an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU.
- A Mac mini with the M2 chip and a variant with the M2 Pro chip.
- An entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip.
- A 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. The M2 Max chip features a 12-core CPU and 38-core GPU, along with 64GB Memory.
- A Mac Pro that will include a successor to the M1 Ultra used in the Mac Studio.
The AppleTLDR take
It isn’t clear what improvements the next generation of Apple silicon will confer upon users. The company is likely to focus on a balance between performance improvements and efficiency. But given the incredible performance of the first generation of Apple silicon, the firm may opt to focus more on efficiency and battery life. That being said, graphics improvements will always be welcomed by developers. Assuming Apple wants to focus on attracting more gaming developers, perhaps M2 will offer developer-friendly features. The next story is likely to provide some clues as to Apple’s long term plans…
TSMC putting 3nm chips intro production
A report from DigiTimes outlines the plans of Apple’s chip manufacturing partner TSMC.
TSMC is on track to move 3nm process technology to volume production in the second half of this year, according to company CEO CC Wei, who also reiterated the foundry’s plans to launch its 2nm GAA process in 2025.DigiTimes
Given this timeline, it is far more probable that a future ‘M3’ chip series will benefit from the upgrade to 3nm architecture. The M2 chip is more likely to be based on the same Avalanche performance cores and Blizzard efficiency cores found in the A15 chip albeit scaled up. The A15 afforded the iPhone 13 series 20% improvements in performance and significant upgrades to efficiency. That should give us some idea of what to expect from the M2 series.
Featured image: Laura Ockel via Unsplash