Apple's flagship M1 chip was heralded as Apple's most powerful chip when it released in November, but when will its successor - the M2 - launch?
Apple's MacBooks and iMacs have been successful for some time now. The company recently decided to shift towards the creation of its own chips with the M1- a move now somewhat mirrored by Google with the upcoming release of the Google Tensor. The Tensor chip will feature in the Google Pixel 6.
Here's everything you need to know about the 'M2' chip.
Apple M2 Chip Release Date
Early rumours from Nikkei Asia in April suggested the M2 had already entered production.
According to the site, the M2 and could ship "as early as July for use in MacBooks" scheduled to go on sale later this year.
However, as we enter September, Apple has yet to reveal the M2, or release any products featuring the chip.
It would be easy to point towards a September reveal for the M2 - alongside the iPhone 13 release. However, with iOS 15, the iPad (9th Generation) and Apple AirPods 3 all slated for releases around this period, it may be slightly too crowded.
In fact, the latest rumours from leaker DylanDKT (in a now-deleted Tweet) suggest the M2 chip may release in Q1 2022. This would coincide with the launch of an alleged MacBook Air 2022. Instead, an M1X chip may launch in Q4 2021.
Similarly, prolific Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted that the MacBook Air 2022 - which may feature the M2 chip - will launch in mid-2022.
Of course, while Dylan has previously been correct about the M1 chip, it's still worth tempering expectations given previous M2 release date rumours have fallen short. This is especially true now as component shortages and gas contamination may impact Apple's production.
We'll wait until Apple releases concrete details about its alleged M2 chip.
Apple M2 Chip Specs
As for the GPU, Bloomberg's report suggest high-end laptops/mid-range desktops may feature 16-or-32-cores. Apple is also testing 62 and 128 core variants for higher machines, the report states.
Given this wide range of core disparity, it's impossible to know for sure what the graphical processing power will actually be of the M2, so we'll take this with a pinch of salt for now.
Apple M2 Chip Devices And Products
The M1 chip is still a relatively new piece of tech, having only released in November 2020.
It currently features in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models from 2020, the 2021 iMac, and the fifth-generation iPad Pro released in 2021.
As referenced above, Apple's MacBook Pro 2021 will likely not feature the M2 chip, instead releasing a completely separate M1X chip for this device instead. The next iMac redesign, initially expected to launch in late 2021 but now allegedly delayed into 2022, will also feature the M1X.
With a 2022 release date, it may be the 2022 version of the MacBooks and iPad Pro that first receive the M2 chip. The MacBook Air 2022 is the most likely contender for the first M2 product.
Indeed, the latest MacBook rumours suggest the MacBook Pro 2022 could feature the M2 chip alongside a new OLED display.
We'd expect the M2 chip to at least feature in Apple products until late-2023. TSMC will release its first 3nm chips in 2023, although according to Nikkei Asia these will first be adopted by Apple for use in new iPads, rather than MacBooks.
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