Apple’s M1 line of processors dramatically changed the game when they first debuted in 2020, offering better performance-per-watt than anything available than competing chips by a wide margin. Now the company is kicking off its next generation of Apple Silicon with the launch of the its first M2 series chip.

The company says the new M2 processor brings up to an 18 percent CPU performance boost, 35 percent faster graphics, and a 40 percent faster neural engine for AI tasks. But it’s still an energy efficient chip: Apple says the M2 processor offers 87% of the performance of Intel’s Core i7-1260P processor while using one quarter as much power.

Apple says the new processor is a 5nm chip that features:

  • 8 CPU cores
  • Up to 10 GPU cores
  • 16-core neural engine (for up to 15.8 trillion operations per second)

There’s also now support for up to 24GB of LPDDR5 memory (which is 8GB more than the original Apple M1 chip supported) and 100GB/s memory bandwidth (which is a 50% improvement).

Apple says a new its M2 processors also include the ProRes video engine with support for multiple 4K and 8K video streams and a new higher-bandwidth video decoder with support for 8K H.264 and HEVC video.

Apple will most likely offer M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Ultra processors that offer even more performance, but the first M2 processors will debut in thin and light notebooks that balance performance with low power consumption.

Apple’s new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13, which hit the streets in July, 2022 with prices starting at $1199 and $1299, respectively, and Apple is promising up to 18 hours of battery life during video playback on the former, which is also a fanless notebook that weighs just 2.7 pounds and which measures just 11.3mm thick.

press release

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  1. Wow same/similar process and “up to 18%” performance increase… I think I’ll wait for the 3nm M3.

  2. Is it the M1 or the M2 that offers “87% of the performance of Intel’s Core i7-1260P processor”? When you say “the company’s 2nd-gen 5nm technology”, in this instance I assume that “the company” refers to TSMC, not Apple?

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. The M1 was a typo, it should have read M2.

      As for the 2nd-gen 5nm, I get the impression that what Apple is saying here is that while it’s manufactured using a 5nm process, much like the M1, that process has been refined… similar to the way Intel had multiple generations of 14nm chips, but that didn’t mean there weren’t improvements.

      But aside from the phrase 2nd-gen 5mn process, we didn’t really hear much today about what’s new on that front.