Apple Reveals M2 Processor, Claiming Significant Improvements in Performance and Power Management

Apple's M2 Chip

M2, the next generation of Apple silicon created particularly for the Mac, was revealed today by Apple. M2, which is built on second-generation 5-nanometer technology, improves on M1’s industry-leading performance per watt with an 18% faster CPU, a 35% more powerful GPU, and a 40% faster Neural Engine.

It also has 50% greater memory bandwidth than the M1, as well as up to 24GB of rapid unified memory. M2 adds all of this to the fully redesigned MacBook Air and updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as new unique technologies and increased efficiency.

Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, Johny Srouji, remarked, “M2 kicks off the second generation of M-series CPUs and goes beyond the extraordinary characteristics of M1.” “M2 boasts a faster CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine thanks to our constant focus on power-efficient performance. Along with increased memory capacity and new features like ProRes acceleration, M2 maintains Apple’s rapid pace of innovation in Mac silicon.”

Apple M1 and M2 Chip comparison in size
M2 is built using enhanced, second-generation 5-nanometer technology and consists of 20 billion transistors — 25 percent more than M1. (Image Courtesy- Apple.com)

M2 Consists 25% More Transistor Than Its Predecessor M1

More Transistors, More Memory

M2’s system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture uses improved, second-generation 5-nanometer technology and has 20 billion transistors, which is 25% more than M1. The extra transistors boost features across the board, including the memory controller, which now offers 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth, which is 50% faster than M1. M2 can also manage larger and more sophisticated applications thanks to up to 24GB of rapid unified memory.

More Performance, Less Power Consumption

The new CPU has quicker performance cores and a bigger cache, as well as vastly improved efficiency cores for even more performance advantages. They give 18% more multithreaded performance than M1, allowing M2 to tear through CPU-intensive tasks like producing music with layers of effects or applying complicated treatments to photographs while using very little electricity.

The CPU in the M2 gives roughly double the performance at the same power level as the newest 10-core PC laptop chip. M2 also uses a fraction of the power of a PC processor while delivering the same peak performance.

When compared to the latest 12-core PC laptop chip, which requires significantly more power to deliver an increase in performance and thus is found in thicker, hotter, noisier systems with shorter battery life, M2 delivers nearly 90% of the peak performance of the 12-core chip while using only one-fourth the power.

The CPU of M2 features faster performance cores and enhanced efficiency cores that together deliver 18 percent greater multithreaded performance than M1.
The CPU of M2 features faster performance cores and enhanced efficiency cores that together deliver 18 percent greater multithreaded performance than M1.

Compared with the latest 10-core PC laptop chip, the CPU in M2 delivers nearly twice the performance at the same power level. Compared to the latest 12-core PC laptop chip — which needs dramatically more power to deliver an increase in performance — M2 delivers nearly 90 percent of the peak performance of the 12-core chip while using just one-fourth the power.

Apple’s next-generation GPU, with up to 10 cores – two more than M1, is also included in M2. The 10-core GPU, when combined with a bigger cache and increased memory bandwidth, provides a significant gain in graphics performance, with up to 25% higher graphics performance at the same power level and up to 35% better performance at full power.

When compared to the integrated graphics of the current PC laptop processor, the GPU in the M2 delivers 2.3x quicker performance at the same power level, and equals peak performance with a sixth of the power. 2 Even while playing graphics-intensive games or processing huge RAW photos, M2’s better performance per watt allows PCs to have outstanding battery life and operate cool and silently.

M2 Chip GPU vs Power Consumption
Apple’s next-generation 10-core GPU in M2 delivers up to 35 percent higher graphics performance than M1 at its maximum power.

Apple’s Next-Generation Custom Technologies

M2 brings Apple’s latest custom technologies to the Mac, enabling new capabilities, better security, and more:

  • The Neural Engine can process up to 15.8 trillion operations per second — over 40 percent more than M1.
  • The media engine includes a higher-bandwidth video decoder, supporting 8K H.264 and HEVC video.
  • Apple’s powerful ProRes video engine enables playback of multiple streams of both 4K and 8K video.
  • Apple’s latest Secure Enclave provides best-in-class security.
  • A new image signal processor (ISP) delivers better image noise reduction.

MacOS, M2 Chip, and Apps

The combination of macOS Monterey with the powerful new M2 provides users with unprecedented performance and productivity. Apple silicon-powered Macs have access to the most comprehensive app store ever, including iPhone and iPad applications that run on Mac and universal apps that unleash the full potential of M-series CPUs.

M2 will also be fully utilised in macOS Ventura, which will be released this autumn and will have new features such as Stage Manager as well as significant new capabilities such as Continuity Camera and FaceTime Handoff. Safari, Mail, Messages, Spotlight, and more apps get significant upgrades in macOS Ventura.

Apple Silicon Environment Friendly?

M2’s energy-efficient performance enables the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro fulfil Apple’s stringent energy-efficiency requirements. Apple is now carbon neutral in its worldwide operations, and by 2030, the company expects to have a net-zero climate impact throughout the whole organisation, including manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This means that every chip Apple makes will be carbon neutral from design to production.

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