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Apple Silicon Next-Gen M2 Chips Already in Development

Apple Silicon Next-Gen M2 Chips Already in Development

Bloomberg reported that Apple is already prepping next-gen Apple Silicon chips, with up to an incredible 128 high-performance GPU cores.

Bloomberg reported that Apple is already prepping next-gen Apple Silicon chips, with up to an incredible 128 high-performance GPU cores.

Credit | Apple

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is planning to release a new series of Mac processors as early as next year, 2021, that are aimed at being the most powerful chips on the market, outperforming current champ Intel’s fastest.

Chip engineers at Apple are working on multiple M1 chip successors, whether it be an M2 or another architecture entirely, which are expected to significantly outperform and outpace current machines with Intel chipsets. Intel stock dropped from this news, 3%, while Apple gained around 1.5%.

Apple’s first in-house chipset

The Apple Silicon M1 chip, the ASM1, was unveiled in a new entry-level MacBook Pro, a newly rebooted Mac Mini desktop, and a new set of MacBook Airs. The next set of chips, which I’ll call M2, are expected to be placed across upgraded versions of the MacBook Pro, all iMac desktops, and later a new Mac Pro station.

A road map was given, indicating Apple’s complete confidence in their new chips, and especially their engineering, taking into account their steps to design out past Intel components.

The company has said that they plan to finish their complete transition to in-house production and in-house silicon by 2022.

While Intel reports have shown that they receive less than 10% of their total revenues from Apple chip sales, the entire rest of its PC business is under fire from Apple. As Intel has been losing market share to rival AMD for years, their final pillar in the market has been their performance focused chips, meaning that if you wanted power, you wanted Intel. If Apple was to blow that pillar up with a tank, then all the power resting on top could easily be snatched up by AMD or Apple.

Benefiting Chipzilla’s rivals

Apple’s Mac chips, as well as their iPhone, iPad, and Watch chipsets, all use licensed technologies from Arm Limited, a chip design firm with billions of interconnected devices from their designs, which Nvidia Corporation happens to be in the process of trying to obtain. Those chip designs are outsourced to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which has taken the #1 chip manufacturing spot from Intel.

For the past couple of years, Apple has gone from being heavily reliant on Intel, to being opposed to their slowing annual chip gains, to apparently straight up rivaling the company, removing their chips from new products, and planning a revenge in the form of superior products.

It wasn’t very surprising for Apple to move from Intel chips, but it was incredible surprising that they were planning on creating their own chips, and outdoing their, now, rivals.

ASM1 vs “M2”

Apple’s current Apple Silicon M1 chip contains a mobile-inspired design, focusing around managing high-performance with long-battery, high efficiency as well. This obviously applies more to laptops than desktops for example, as you’re not worried about battery life on a desktop compared to a laptop, which is used more often as its own standalone device.

The chip contains 4 high-performance cores, focused on tasking tasks such as video editing or gaming, and four high-efficiency cores, which are focused on reducing the power use and increasing battery, by taking care of tasks such as browsing the internet.

While not confirmed, it’s rumored that Apple is working on designs for its MacBook Pro and iMac models with as many as 16 high-performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. Depending on production, Apple could instead choose to at first, release variations of the chip with 8 or 12 high-performance cores.

For higher end computers, planned for 2021 or the half-sized Mac Pro planned for 2022, Apple is testing a new chip design with up to 32 high-performance cores. While not directly correlated to performance, this increase in cores could easily make the power of the machines much higher.

Intel Mac laptops however, had a maximum of 8-core designs, iMac Pros have as many as 18, and the incredibly expensive Mac Pro desktop computer has a max of 28 cores. While Apple and Intel chips are completely different, they both use the same fundamental function, where the chips divide workloads into smaller tasks.

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AMD, the company with gaining market share on Intel, has desktop chips with upwards of 16 cores, with high-end gaming chips going to 64 cores, which Apple could easily achieve soon, if jumping from 4 to 32 only took a year.

Even with Apple’s gains, and the well received press for the chips, the Macs that use the new chipset have less memory and fewer ports on the computers. The M1 is rumored to have actually come from an iPad Pro processor’s variation arriving this year, helping to at least partially explain the connection to less memory and less ports.

For late 2021 or early 2022, the report finished by saying that Apple is working on pricier 64 and 128 dedicate core chipsets, aimed at the highest-end machines the company sells. These chips would be several times, up to dozens of times, faster than the current modules that Apple uses from Nvidia and AMD in their previous Intel hardware, which used integrated graphics with lower core counts.