We finally have a successor to Apple’s M1 chip, which was the first ARM-based “Apple Silicon” hardware, over two years after its release. M2 is finally here. While the M1 chip was notable for demonstrating what Apple could do with a more efficient mobile design (a significant departure from Intel’s power-hungry x86 processors, no pun intended), the goal of the M2 chip is a refinement rather than breaking new ground. It’s all about efficiency this time.
M2 chip Specs
The new M2 chip, like the original M1, is built on a 5nm technology with 20 billion transistors. It employs Apple’s own custom Arm silicon. This is a 25% increase over the original M1, according to Apple. All of these transistors should boost speed, and Apple claims that the M2 will have an 18% faster CPU and a 35% faster GPU than the original M1.
According to Apple, this performance is 1.9x faster than the “latest 10-core PC laptop chip.” Apple uses new performance and efficiency cores on the M2 to improve performance over the M1, as well as 100Gbps of memory bandwidth and 24GB of unified memory. That’s 50% more bandwidth than the M1. On the M2, Apple employs four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, with a shared 16MB cache on the performance cores and a shared 4MB cache on the efficiency cores.
M2 also comes with a new secure enclave and neural engine, as well as an enhanced media engine capable of handling 8K H.264 and HEVC video. In practice, this means that systems equipped with M2 processors will be able to play multiple streams of 4K and 8K video at the same time.
MacBook Air, one of Apple’s most popular laptops, is the first to get the M2 chip. The MacBook Air’s wedge shape has been changed for a thinner profile this time. The M2-equipped laptop also includes MagSafe charging. lastly, the new MacBook Air also has a larger 13.6-inch display, a better camera, and an 18-hour battery life.