Apple’s Next-Gen ‘M2’ Chip Enters Mass Production, MacBook Integration Expected Late 2021

Apple’s follow-up to its M1 chip is reported to have entered its mass production phase. The chip, which is tentatively referred to as the ‘M2’ chip, will be the next step in Apple’s transition away from Intel processors. This signals the possibility that Apple may release M2-powered MacBooks by the fall season of this year.

According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Apple’s M2 chip has entered mass production this month. With a three-month window of production given, sources said that it is likely shipments of the chip could begin as early as July.

The next generation of Mac processors designed by Apple entered mass production this month, sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia, bringing the U.S. tech giant one step closer to its goal of replacing Intel-designed central processing units with its own.

Shipments of the new chipset — tentatively known as the M2, after Apple’s current ‌M1‌ processor — could begin as early as July for use in MacBooks that are scheduled to go on sale in the second half of this year, the people said.

Apple’s M1 chip, which first debuted last fall, features 8-core CPU, up to an 8-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, unified memory architecture, and more features. The chip was praised for delivering what Apple claimed as 3.5x faster system performance and up to 6x faster graphics performance. It also gave way to longer battery life, doubling that of previous Mac models. Nikkei Asia’s report states that Apple will continue to integrate CPU, GPU, and the Neural Engine. Though specifications on the chip are still unknown.

Apple integrated its M1 chip into its Mac mini, MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro last year. It’s been rumoured that Apple plans to release a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with a redesign including the return of the MagSafe charger. Additional features rumoured are an included SD card slot and HDMI port. These models may release with a pairing of the M2 chip later this year.