Apple's new 'M2' chipset could land in 2022 before even faster 'M2 Pro'

Apple’s next-gen ‘M2’ chipset could land in 2022 before even faster ‘M2 Pro’

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Apple M2 chipset
Does this mean Apple won't hit its two-year target for ditching Intel?
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple will introduce its next-generation “M2” chipset for Mac next year, followed by an even more powerful “M2 Pro” in 2023, according to a new report. Both are expected to use TSMC’s new 4-nanometer manufacturing process.

The report somewhat contradicts Apple’s plan to do away with Intel and transition all Mac models to custom chipsets within two years. That’s if Apple waits for the “M2 Pro” before updating high-end machines like the Mac Pro.

The path to even faster Apple M chips

Apple this year introduced faster, more impressive versions of the M1 chipset it first rolled out in late 2020. The M1 Pro and M1 Max make the newest MacBook Pro models some of the most powerful and most efficient notebooks available.

As is always the case in chip design and manufacturing, however, there’s room for improvement. Apple’s desktop silicon is currently produced using a 5-nanometer fabrication process, but that will soon be old news.

TSMC, Apple’s primary chip manufacturer, is expected to use a new, cutting edge 4-nanometer manufacturing process for the next-generation “M2” series, which is expected to make its debut in late 2022, according to one report.

Commercial Times claims the first M2 chip, codenamed Staten, will arrive late next year before an even beefier version for high-end Mac models, the “M2 Pro,” codenamed Rhodes, rolls out in 2023.

M2 and M2 Pro

Using a 4-nanometer manufacturing process means the millions of microscopic transistors found inside Apple’s chips will be placed ever so slightly closer together. This reduces space and makes for faster processing times.

The change could also further increase efficiency, allowing MacBook models to run longer on a single charge, and reduce heat.

However, the report does not fit Apple’s plans to transition its entire Mac lineup to custom processors within two years. If the Mac Pro — and possible new iMac Pro — are to wait for the M2 Pro as expected, they won’t appear until 2023.

If the claims are accurate, then, it could mean Apple won’t hit its two-year target — which wouldn’t exactly be a great surprise considering the many issues that have arisen due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.