Apple's custom next-generation Mac processor has entered the mass production stage this month, media reports said. Tentatively dubbed the "M2" after Apple's M1 chip, the processors take at least three months to produce, according to sources.
The next generation of Mac processors designed by Apple entered mass production this month, sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia, bringing the US tech giant one step closer to its goal of replacing Intel-designed central processing units with its own, MacRumors, Nikkei Asia reported.
Shipments of the new chipset could begin as early as July for use in MacBooks that are scheduled to go on sale in the second half of this year, sources said.
Produced by Apple supplier TSMC, Apple's custom aCEM1aCE silicon made its debut late last year with the introduction of the Mac mini, MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, bringing considerable performance improvements and battery efficiency over the Intel chips it replaced.
Just last week, Apple unveiled redesigned 24-inch iMacs and a new iPad Pro lineup and to underscore the hardware capabilities of the devices, Apple kitted them out with the same 5nm-based aCEM1aCE processor found in its other Apple silicon Macs.
With an 8-core CPU, up to an 8-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, unified memory architecture, and more, the company said the aCEM1aCE chip delivers up to 3.5x faster system performance, up to 6x faster graphics performance and up to 15x faster machine learning, while enabling battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs.
Apple said in 2020 that it would take the company two years to fully transition from Intel chipsets to Apple silicon.
Rumours suggest that future Apple silicon Macs will include new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with an all-new form factor as early as Q2 2021, in addition to a redesigned 27-inch iMac later this year and a smaller version of the Mac Pro, likely in 2022.