Apple’s next generation ‘Apple Silicon’ processors started to roll off mass production lines this month, according to sources speaking to Nikkei Asia. The insiders indicate that shipments of the new chips, tentatively dubbed ‘Apple M2 processors’ could begin in July. That would allow Apple to release new/refreshed MacBooks and other form factors in H2 this year, hastening its transition from the Intel x86 architecture.
The M2 is being produced by TSMC on its latest 5-nanometer plus, or N5P, process. However, neither Apple nor TSMC would comment on the Nikkei Asia report. With the insider info being reported in Taipei, it looks like the leaky side of the equation is at TSMC or one of the companies that work closely with it.
Understandably there isn’t a lot of info about the M2 around. The source says it is an SoC like its predecessor. This type of chip integrates CPU, GPU, and other accelerators and I/O in the same package. With the M1 there was even memory on die, facilitating fast and flexible processor-memory I/O from the unified memory pool, but making the 8GB or 16GB Mac you bought not upgradable in this respect.
Apple recently launched refreshed iPad Pro and iMac computer models featuring the Apple M1. The consensus seems to be that the M1 Macs are an improvement, with peppy performance in CPU and graphics, with noticeably better battery life, where that applies. We don’t have any data pointing to the extra capabilities and/or performance that will be available with the M2 but with its progress so far it doesn’t look like it is going to misfire. I guess we might start to see some leaked specs and performance indicators after July.