Apple Silicon M2 Chips Reportedly Enter Production For Next-Gen MacBook Pros

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Apple's M1 "Apple Silicon" hit the market with a big splash in late 2020 when it launched inside the refreshed MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini. The SoC is currently available in an 8-core CPU configuration with either a 7- or 8-core GPU onboard paired with 8GB or 16GB of RAM.

The M1 has since found its way to the all-new Mac mini and even the new 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, a new report coming out of Japan alleges that second-generation Apple Silicon is already in production. The next-generation SoC is reportedly called the M2 and will be based on TSMC's 5-nanometer plus (N5P) process node.

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The M1 is currently in use in everything from the iPad Pro to the new iMac.

Unfortunately, the report doesn't give us any additional information on the specifications for the M2. However, it could be that the previously assumed M1X is the M2. The rumored specs for that SoC include 12 total CPU cores (eight high-performance Firestorm cores, four efficiency Ice Storm cores) and support for up to 32GB of LPDDR4x-4266 memory. It's also rumored that Apple will boost the GPU core count from 8 to 16, and support up to three displays (up from two).

According to Nikkei Asia, the first M2 SoCs could ship in July, which would be perfect timing for Apple's next-generation MacBook Pros rumored to launch during the second half of 2021. The new MacBook Pros are expected to feature all-new unibody designs that lack the unloved Touch Bar, additional ports (i.e., HDMI, SD slot), and a new 14-inch model.

Apple originally stated that its entire lineup of Macs would switch from Intel processor to Apple Silicon within two years. Barring any unforeseen obstacles, the whole Mac family will be powered by Apple Silicon by the end of 2022.