They have been a long time coming, but we already have with us the Apple M2, Apple’s second-generation chips that come with a remarkable leap in features and performance, surpassing its predecessor in everything. This promises and it does so also with a special debut: the new MacBook Air M2 also presented by Apple at this WWDC 2022.
Apple’s chips come with more transistors more power and more memory support than its predecessors, and according to Apple’s tests, the performance is 18% and 35% higher in CPU and GPU respectively when compared to the M1.
More power, same (or better) efficiency
Apple has indicated how these chips make use of a 5 nm photolithography, like the M1s, but it is an improved “second generation” process that has allowed more transistors to be integrated: no less than 20 billion.
These chips feature a CPU with four high-performance and four high-efficiency cores, plus a GPU with 10 cores capable of achieving 3.6 TFLOPS of power. The figure is surprising, especially considering that the Xbox Series S has a GPU with around 8 TFLOPS of power.
This integration also benefits the integrated unified memory: in this case, we will be able to enjoy up to 24 GB of LPDDR5 memory with a bandwidth of 100 GB/s, 50% more than what was offered in the M1s (which could only reach 16 GB of unified memory).
The jump in performance promised by Apple is significant: in the case of the CPU, up to 18% with the same power consumption. The GPU is capable of achieving 25% more performance with the same power consumption, but here Apple has given more room for maneuver and it is possible to achieve up to 35% more performance, although in this case, we will consume more than the M1 GPU did.
These improvements also reach the artificial intelligence section, and now the M2 has a Neural Engine capable of processing 40% more operations than the M1 in the same time: up to 15.8 TOPS thanks to this 16-core chip.
Support for ProRes encoding and decoding is joined by support for 8K content and codecs such as H.264 and HEVC – but curiously there is no mention of the AV1 codec – making the M2 once again a powerful ally for content creators (and also for those who enjoy it).
The Apple M2 also makes its debut in the new MacBook Air M2, equipment that renews the traditional design -no more wedge-shaped, we fear- and that certainly offers remarkable features with these new chips that are a promising evolution of the M1. They will not only be available in these devices but also in a 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 that, of course, will not change its design.
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