According to a new report published by Nikkei Asia, the next generation of Mac Silicon System-on-a-Chip processors designed by Apple entered mass production this month ready for the new MacBook Pro laptops later this year.
Tentatively these new SoCs are being referred to as the M2 (although it could still be known as the M1x), as the next generation of Apple Silicon moving on from the M1 processors, which we have tested using Pro Tools and Studio One via Rosetta 2 and Logic Pro X natively in our series of Power Tests.
Producing such advanced chipsets takes at least three months and so the report suggests that shipments of the new chipset could begin as early as July for use in MacBooks that are expected to go on sale in the second half of this year, as well other Mac and Apple devices accordingly the Nikkei Asia sources.
This backs up other reports from Apple’s supply chain that they will be releasing new 14” and 16” MacBook Pro computers in the second half of 2021 as we reported in our article What New Apple Macs Do We Expect In 2021. It is hoped that the new M2 SoCs will sidestep the limitations of the ‘entry-level’ M1 chips as Bloomberg quoted in their report in January 2021 when they said…
“The company’s next series of chips, planned for release as early as the spring and later in the fall, are destined to be placed across upgraded versions of the MacBook Pro, both entry-level and high-end iMac desktops, and later a new Mac Pro workstation, the people said.”
Apparently, the new chipset is being produced by key Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chipmaker, using the same semiconductor production technology, known as 5-nanometer plus, or N5P as the M1 Apple Silicon chips.
@LeaksApplePro M1X Tweets
Apple M1X:-12 Cores.- 8 performance cores.- 4 high efficiency cores.- Coming first on a MacBook Pro 16” unveiling as a press release.- According to a source who used a prototype, “if you think M1 is fast, you haven’t seen M1X”.-Name isn’t final though. pic.twitter.com/tpBhXpDCad
Tom’s Hardware picked up the first tweet and said…
“And if the details about the number of cores are true, then this really is set out to be one hell of a chip. Just for reference, the current M1 chip only has eight cores in total, with four high-performance and four efficient cores inside. Eight performance cores is going to be a sight to see, assuming Apple can keep the power requirements at manageable levels.
The only questions we have are whether the M1X name will stick, and when it might arrive. After all, if it’s really got double the number of performance cores, Apple may want to pick a name that reflects the boost in power. As for when it will be released, it could be any time between now early next year. Especially if there’s only going to be a press release, and no big launch event.”
The 2nd tweet gives details of the spec of the new MacBook Pro 16” computer with support for up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of internal storage, which would truly be a pro machine.
@LeaksApplePro has had a mixed track record but when you tie this in with a research note recently obtained by MacRumors, from Ming-Chi Kuo who is an analyst at TF International Securities, a financial services group in the Asia-Pacific region. He gathers intelligence from his contacts in Apple’s Asian supply chain, translating the information he gleans into research notes for clients, and with his connections with the manufacturing world, has a reliable insight into future products.
In this latest research note, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he previously claimed that redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple Silicon would launch in the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021.
If @LeaksApplePro is correct then the new re-designed MacBook Pro laptops will be incredibly powerful with loads of RAM, 12 processors and plenty of internal storage and Tom’s Hardware’s headline could well be right “and it’s game over for Intel”.
There are no details on the spec of these new M2 chips, other than some leaks earlier this year. However, it is expected that the new processors will follow reports from the likes of Bloomberg in that the 2nd gen Apple Silicon processors could boast 20-core CPUs or it could be that the next versions could have only eight or 12 of the high-performance core, more RAM and more GPU cores as we reported in our article Apple MacBook Pro M1X Processor Leaked – Find Out More.
Mike Thornton has been working in the broadcast audio industry for all his working life, some 44 years. Mike has worked with Pro Tools since the mid-90s recording, editing and mixing documentaries, comedy and drama for both radio and TV as well as doing the occasional music project. He was the co-founder of Pro Tools Expert and is now COO of Production Expert Ltd.
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