Apple’s next chip, the as yet unnamed successor to the M1 has, according to Nikkei Asia already entered mass production, with ‘M2’ powered MacBooks appearing perhaps as soon as July.
Nikkei Asia claims that TMSC is the fab behind the silicon, pumping them out on its 5nm+ (N5P) process. The outlet also expects the chip to appear in upcoming iPad Pro, just as the M1 did, as well as a range of Apple desktop and portable computers. As Apple and TMSC declined Nikkei Asia’s requests for comment, we don’t know anything more about the chip at the moment, but a clockspeed bump over the 3.2GHz of the M1 is likely. Other speculation and leaks have pointed to as many as 12 cores in the new chip.
The current model boasts four power cores, four efficiency cores, a GPU with up to eight cores, and a 16-core Neural Engine that accelerates machine learning tasks. The RAM is also included in the package, with up to 16GB available, and the thing overtakes Rocket Lake in single-threaded performance.
Rumors about new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros coming later this year are prevalent, along with a new 27-inch iMac to follow last week’s announcements. If those are indeed real, they could be equipped with these new chips.
Apple is currently the world’s fourth largest PC maker, after Lenovo, HP, and Dell, with a market share of 7.6% in Q4 2020. Its switch to the ARM-based M-series chips came in 2020 after 15 years of using Intel chips in its Macs. Before that, in 1994, Apple had switched to IBM’s PowerPC architecture, having used the Motorola 68000 since the Mac’s inception in 1984. The company expects to take two years to fully transition its range to the new SOCs.