Apple on Monday unveiled M2, its second generation of custom-designed ARM-silicon chip, during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). These chips will power the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.
“M2 starts the second generation of M-series chips and goes beyond the remarkable features of M1,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies.
“With our relentless focus on power-efficient performance, M2 delivers a faster CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine. And along with higher memory bandwidth and new capabilities like ProRes acceleration, M2 continues the tremendous pace of innovation in Apple silicon for the Mac.”
Coming to M2, the new chip is built using enhanced, second-generation 5-nanometer technology consisting of 20 billion transistors, which is 25 percent more than its predecessor, M1. It has a memory controller that delivers 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth bringing 50 percent more memory bandwidth compared to the M1.
Further, the M2 supports up to 24GB of fast unified memory, which makes it handle even larger and more complex workloads. It features four high-performance cores as well as four efficiency cores and has 18% better performance than the M1.
According to Apple, the 8-core CPU in M2 provides nearly twice the performance at the same power level when compared with the latest 10-core PC laptop chip found in a Windows laptop. Also, M2 provides nearly 90 percent of the peak performance of the latest 12-core PC laptop chip while using just one-fourth of the power.
The new chip also features Apple’s next-generation GPU with up to 10 cores that brings the graphics performance up to 25 percent higher than the M1 at the same power level and up to 35 percent better performance at its max power. The 10-core GPU in M2 delivers 2.3x faster performance at the same power level and matches its peak performance using a fifth of the power.
Additionally, the higher performance per watt from M2 enables systems to have exceptional battery life, and run cool and quietly, even when playing graphics-intensive games or editing massive RAW images.
Besides the above, the M2 also brings Apple’s latest custom technologies to the Mac, which are as follows:
- The Neural Engine can process up to 15.8 trillion operations per second — over 40 percent more than M1.
- The media engine includes a higher-bandwidth video decoder, supporting 8K H.264 and HEVC video.
- Apple’s powerful ProRes video engine enables playback of multiple streams of both 4K and 8K video.
- Apple’s latest Secure Enclave provides best-in-class security.
- A new image signal processor (ISP) delivers better image noise reduction.
According to Apple, every chip Apple that it creates from design to manufacturing will be 100 percent carbon neutral. The new Apple M2 chip is expected to hit the market in July of 2022.