There are some Intriguing Information about its Next-Generation Chips
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is working on nine new Macs that will use its future M2 processors. These reports follow Apple’s statement that the M1 Ultra would be the last processor in its current-generation lineup and the release of the Mac Studio.
The Studio isn’t expected to be replaced anytime soon, according to Bloomberg, but most other Mac models will be upgraded. According to Gurman, he’s seen proof of an M2-powered MacBook Air with a 10-core GPU, as well as an entry-level M2 MacBook Pro with the same specs, despite previous forecasts that a revamped Air would still feature an M1.
The 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, as well as a new Mac Mini and Mac Pro, all use next-generation Apple hardware. A Mac Mini with the current-generation M1 Pro has also surfaced, though it’s hard to picture that launching now that the Mac Studio is available.
The M2 Pro and M2 Max chips will apparently be used in the higher-end workstations, with the Max having 12 CPU cores and 38 graphics cores (two CPU and six GPU cores extra compared to the current M1 Max). The breakdown of efficiency and performance cores is not provided by Bloomberg. The M2 Pro is also an option for the Mac Mini, and Gurman forecasts a “successor to the M1 Ultra” for the Mac Pro.
(By the way, if you’re like me and can’t figure out how this adds up to nine machines, it’s one MacBook Air, one entry-level Pro, two Mini versions, two models each of the 14- and 16-inch MBPs with Pro and Max CPUs, and the desktop Pro.)
It’s exciting to think that the entry-level MacBook Pro will stick around and be almost indistinguishable from the Air. When I talk to my coworkers about laptops, they always expect that Apple will discreetly drop the 13-inch model because it appears to be an uncomfortable middle ground between the Air and the 14-inch Pro. With its Touch Bar, it’s also a bit of an oddball, but it’s unclear whether the successor will feature one. (The Bloomberg story is silent on this.)
This plethora of information, according to Gurman, comes from developer logs, which appeared because Apple was testing its new computers with third-party software. While it wasn’t surprising that Apple would be working on the next generation of chips, seeing evidence of their presence in the wild and getting early insights is fascinating.
It might not be too long before at least a handful of these PCs are officially announced. According to Bloomberg, “at least two Macs” could be released “around the middle of the year.” And, surprise, surprise, WWDC22 is scheduled for June 6th.