Apple Announces M2, the Next Generation of Apple Silicon

M2 Apple Silicon

During its keynote presentation at WWDC 2022, Apple unveiled the next generation of its custom system-on-a-chip (SoC). The M2 offers improved performance, better power efficiency, and more memory bandwidth and support. The Cupertino-based tech giant will begin shipping laptops featuring the new Apple silicon M2 SoC in July.

Apple Silicon M2 Provides Stronger Performance Across the Board

Apple is using an enhanced 5-nanometer fabrication process to produce the M2. This provides the silicon with 20 billion transistors, 25% more than the previous generation. These additional transistors allow M2 to offer improved memory bandwidth and more unified memory support. The memory controller can now handle bandwidth up to 100Gb/s, 50% more than M1. Memory support is increased to 24GB of unified memory for handling complex computing and graphics tasks.

Cupertino has designed M2 with faster performance cores and better-performing efficiency cores. These enhancements provide an 18% multithreaded CPU performance. The graphics cores also get some love, lending the M2 up to 35% higher GPU performance. Overall, Apple claims the M2 can provide almost 90% of the power of the leading 12-core PC laptop at just a fourth of the power requirements.

The Latest Custom Technologies for the Mac

In addition to improving the CPU and GPU cores, Apple has integrated its latest technology advances into the M2. The new SoC provides a Neural Engine 40% faster than the previous generation. It can process up to 15.8 trillion operations per second.

The M2 can also offer much better video rendering and decoding. It includes a higher-bandwidth video decoder, supporting 8K H.264 and HEVC video. The ProRes video engine can play back of multiple streams of both 4K and 8K video.

Appleā€™s latest SoC also uses the latest Secure Enclave for enhanced security and a new image signal processor for better image noise reduction.

Shipping in New MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros

A newly resigned MacBook Air features the M2, as does a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. Both are said to come available in July. However, we can probably expect long lead times, given the current shipping delays Apple is experiencing for many of its Mac products.

2 thoughts on “Apple Announces M2, the Next Generation of Apple Silicon

  • I heard elsewhere that the Mac Studios could not use an 8k monitor as a display. But this says that this can “multiple streams of both 4K and 8K video.” . Does that mean that these laptops can do something a Mac Studio can’t?

    1. No, when Apple refers to streaming an 8K video, it’s typically in the framework of getting ready to edit it or encode it. The GPU automatically downgrades it for viewing purposes, but displays that actually support 8K will take advantage of the full resolution.

      The issue is that even if the GPU downgrades it, it can still tax the GPU. The ability to stream multiple 4K and 8K videos reflects the power of the SoC.

      That being said, Cupertino was comparing the M2 with the original M1, I believe. I don’t think any benchmarks have been done comparing the M2 with the M1 Pro, Max or Ultra yet.

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