Apple made waves when it launched its first Apple Silicon chip, the M1, in November of 2020. However, the long-rumored M2 chip is nowhere to be seen a year later. Thankfully, we might know when it’s coming, which could be revealed alongside the MacBook Air 2022.
According to a new report from Taiwan’s Commercial Times, Apple is now planning on upgrading its silicon chips every 18 months. The report claims that the M2 chip, code-named Staten, will launch sometime during the second half of 2022. Meanwhile, the M2 Pro and M2 Max will arrive in the first half of 2023.
Based on previous reports, the M2 chip is expected to feature the same 8-core CPU as the M1, but It is expected to have additional GPU cores, with nine and 10-core GPU options. The M1 had seven and 8-core GPU options. It would also presumably get speed and efficiency improvements.
While it may seem like the M1 already has successors in the M1 Pro and M1 Max versions of the chip, we’ve already noted that the original Apple Silicon chip isn’t obsolete. So if you need a simple laptop that doesn’t need the boosted processing and graphical power the Pro and Max chips have to offer, then the M1 is still more than good enough.
However, we expect that the M2 chip will take its place. So the cheaper, simple day-to-day functions will be handled by the M2, which makes it the perfect chip for something like the next MacBook Air. While we have heard rumors that a refreshed version of that machine is coming, minus the notch, we don’t know much else.
It would make sense for Apple to launch both products simultaneously. Meanwhile, users with more intensive needs will want to wait for the M2 Pro, and M2 Max chips to arrive, which we suspect may coincide with another MacBook Pro refresh.
But while it looks like there’s going to be roughly two years between the M1 and M2 chips, Commercial Times’ sources claim Apple will be opting for an 18-month upgrade cycle from now on, which might explain why the M2 Pro and Max chips are reported to arrive so soon after the M2.
Sources also claim that the M2 chips will use a 4-nanometer process, a reduction from the 5-nanometer process in the M1 and that the M3 chip will also arrive some 18-months later. So that would see it launch sometime in early 2024 if this report is accurate.
There’s no telling what these upgraded chips might involve at this early stage. However, we have heard rumors that Apple will be launching a brand new iMac in early 2022, complete with a 27-inch 120Hz ProMotion miniLED display.
We’ll bring you more on the future of Apple Silicon as we hear it.