apple-unveils-m2-silicon-with-big-performance-gains-but-don’t-call-it-a-flagship
Apple made a handful of bulletins at its WWDC 2022 keynote at the moment, not the least of which is a next-generation addition to its customized Arm-based silicon. As was anticipated, Apple introduced its M2 system-on-chip (SoC). It’s a refined slice of silicon that packs 25 p.c extra transistors than its base M1 silicon launched in November 2020, although it is not really the quickest chip in Apple’s arsenal.
The prime efficiency nonetheless belongs to the M1 Pro (34 billion transistors), M1 Max (57 billion transistors), and M1 Ultra (114 billion transistors), the latter of which is the largest and baddest with 20 cores in a 16+4 configuration and both 48 or 64 GPU cores and 32 Neural Engine cores. For the time being, the M1 Ultra remains to be the burliest of the bunch.
So why use the M2 designation right here? Simply put, that is the baseline config of Apple’s next-gen stack, constructed on an enhanced second-gen 5-nanometer node. We absolutely anticipate Apple to comply with this up with M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Max iterations at later dates, maybe on a good additional refined node. That’s a dialogue for one more day, although.
What we’ve got right here is an M2 SoC with a bodily larger footprint than the M1. It’s packing 20 billion transistors with a number of enhancements over the bottom M1 config. together with as much as 24GB of quick unified reminiscence with 100GB/s of reminiscence bandwidth, which is 50 p.c greater than the M1.
“M2 starts the second generation of M-series chips and goes beyond the remarkable features of M1,” stated Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vp of Hardware Technologies. “With our relentless focus on power-efficient performance, M2 delivers a faster CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine. And along with higher memory bandwidth and new capabilities like ProRes acceleration, M2 continues the tremendous pace of innovation in Apple silicon for the Mac.”
A cursory look on the core breakdown would not essentially reveal all that. For instance, the M2 nonetheless wields an 8-core CPU with a 4+4 break up (excessive efficiency + excessive effectivity). But Apple says they’ve been considerably enhanced, noting they’re quicker and have fatter cache allotments.

Apple M2 CPU And GPU Performance Versus Power Claims

The aim is to supply higher efficiency at a extra engaging energy curve than what is perhaps seen within the x86 house. This is what Apple has been hanging its hat on. And on this case, Apple is touting what it claims is an enchancment of the “industry-leading performance per watt” of the M1 with an 18 p.c quicker CPU (multi-threaded), 35 p.c quicker GPU, and 40 p.c quicker Neural Engine, along with these juicy reminiscence positive aspects.
“Compared with the latest 10-core PC laptop chip, the CPU in M2 provides nearly twice the performance at the same power level. And, M2 delivers the peak performance of the PC chip while using just a quarter of the power,” Apple says.
“When compared to the latest 12-core PC laptop chip—which needs dramatically more power to deliver an increase in performance and is therefore found in thicker, hotter, more noisy systems with less battery life—M2 provides nearly 90 percent of the peak performance of the 12-core chip while using just one-fourth the power,” Apple provides.
Apple makes related claims in regards to the M2’s GPU efficiency. According to Apple, the efficiency versus energy is 35 p.c superior to the M1. Compared to a 10-core PC laptop computer, Apple claims a 2.3x enchancment, additional claiming that the M2’s GPU can match the height efficiency of a 10-core PC laptop computer whereas utilizing a fifth of the facility.
Other notable highlights embody…
  • The Neural Engine can course of as much as 15.8 trillion operations per second — over 40 p.c greater than M1.
  • The media engine features a higher-bandwidth video decoder, supporting 8K H.264 and HEVC video.
  • Apple’s highly effective ProRes video engine allows playback of a number of streams of each 4K and 8K video.
  • Apple’s newest Secure Enclave supplies best-in-class safety.
  • A brand new picture sign processor (ISP) delivers higher picture noise discount.
It’s an intriguing chip and we look ahead to placing Apple’s declare to the take a look at as quickly as we will. The base M2 makes its debut in a totally redesigned MacE-book Air that was additionally introduced at the moment, and a retooled 13-inch MacE-book Pro.