A report in the Japanese publication Nikkei claims that the next generation of Apple’s specially designed silicon chips for Mac, dubbed the “M2”, went into production this month.
Citing “sources familiar with the matter,” Nikkei reports that the chips will power the Macs due to launch in the second half of 2021, possibly as early as July. That July date suggests new Macs could be announced at Apple’s 2021 developer conference, which kicks off on June 7.
The sources also say that this new chip will “eventually” be used in Macs and Apple products other than MacBooks. The chip would be the successor to the M1, which Apple has included in recently launched or announced models of the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iPad Pro and 24-inch iMac.
The revised 5nm design is manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, which Apple has used many times before.
We were already expecting new Apple Silicon-based Macs to be launched this year. Apple announced a two-year roadmap to bring its custom-designed chips to all Macs when it first announced the M1 last summer, and multiple reports and leaks have detailed the company’s plans to update the 16-inch MacBook Pro with a new, faster M1 family member. The M1 could also come to the 30-inch iMac and more advanced configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Previous posts are somewhat inconsistent with the details of this story. Those reports claim that at least some of the new Macs expected later this year will ship with a variant of the first-generation M1, but with more cores and other optimizations and improvements, such as support for additional ports and external monitors.
We’ve named that hypothetical chip an M1X, after Apple’s now-abandoned iPad chip naming scheme, that is, “A12X” as a more powerful cousin to the A12. But until now, any discussion of the chip’s name has been pure speculation.
Apple could be planning to release both an M2 for its next wave of entry-level machines and a higher core count variant of the M1 or M2, as previously expected, or the M2 could be the higher core count chip. may be intended for the next 16-inch MacBook Pro, a departure from that earlier chip naming scheme.