Apple Announces Its New M2 Processor

Written by Michael Larabel in Apple on 6 June 2022 at 02:35 PM EDT. 135 Comments
APPLE --
Apple's WWDC keynote this year was used to announce the M2 processor alongside a slew of other announcements.

The Apple M2 is being launched with a new MacBook Air model beginning next month. Some of the key Apple M2 highlights include:

- 20B transistors, built on a second-gen TSMC 5nm process.

- 100GB/sec of unified memory bandwidth using 128-bit LPDDR5 memory. Up to 24GB of memory is supported by the M2.

- The M2 is an 8-core CPU consisting of 4 high efficiency and 4 high performance cores. There is a shared 16MB cache between the performance cores and a shared 4MB cache between the efficiency cores.

- A reported 18% CPU performance uplift from M1 to M2.

- Apple claims the M2 can deliver 87% the performance of a 12-core PC (Windows) laptop chip at 25% the power consumption.

- The Apple M2 graphics can deliver 25% higher performance than the M1 at the same power level or up to 35% higher performance overall.

- The Apple M2 media engine now supports up to 8K content for H.264 and H.265/HEVC.


Powered by the Apple M2, the MacBook Air will be shipping next month at $1199 USD while the M1 MacBook Air is at $999 USD. The MacBook Pro M2 is starting at $1299 USD.

Apple also used WWDC to announce macOS 13 "Ventura", Metal 3 for their graphics/compute API, and more. The WWDC keynote is embedded below or via Apple.com.


While the Apple M2 is more evolutionary than revolutionary compared to the M1, it's more work for the Asahi Linux folks and other open-source developers to tackle. Linux on the Apple M1 is making progress and with Linux 5.19 there is more upstreaming including now the NVMe controller support for the M1, the eFuses driver, and other work. It was also just last week the first triangle on a fully open-source user/kernel graphics driver stack was rendered on the M1. Particularly on the graphics side there is still a lot of M1 enablement driver support to be written over the months ahead. There also is still more performance and power management work to happen for Linux on the M1, among other features. It will be interesting though to see how quickly Linux developers can at least get Apple M2 booting and working satisfactory on Linux.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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