Apple's M2 chip to debut in early 2022, leaker claims

The Apple-built processor will reportedly power colorful new Macbook Air models

Apple’s M2 processor will make its debut in early 2022 in a new MacBook Air that will come in a range of colorful options, rumors suggest. 

An iOS developer who goes by the Twitter handle @Dylandkt on Monday tweeted that Apple’s M2 processor is “on track to release in the first half of 2022” and will be included in an “upcoming colorful MacBook (Air).”

The developer added that "M2 is a next generation chip most likely built on the same foundation the A15 is built on.” Previously, he correctly predicted the M1 chip’s inclusion in the most recent iPad Pro lineup.

Until recently, it was suspected that MacBook devices arriving later this year would likely feature the company’s M2 chip, the rumoured second-generation version of the in-house silicon the company launched last year with its M1 chip. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is producing the chip using 5-nanometer process technology.

However, Apple is facing silicon production shortages that are affecting its ability to ship products, according to reports, forcing it to postpone some MacBook and iPad production.

The problems have reportedly affected the company’s ability to mount components on circuit boards just before final assembly. There is also a shortage of displays and display components that’s causing problems on iPad production lines.

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These shortages are frustrating for Apple, which has been capitalizing on the work-from-home boom with soaring product sales. In its Q2 results announcement this week, Apple reported year-on-year revenues up 54% to $89.58 billion. Revenues for Macs and iPads rose 70.1% and 78.9% to $9.1 billion and $7.8 billion, respectively, over last year. 

The Apple-built M1 chip is the first-ever laptop chip to built by the company in-house, and its creation marks the first time since 2006 that new Macs are being powered by anything other than Intel processors. The most recent MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini models are all powered by the M1 chip.

The chip is built on Arm architecture, and Apple says it’s the first PC chip built using 5-nanometer process technology. This eight-core chip also packs 16 billion transistors, the most ever in an Apple chip.

Generally, personal computers require three or more chips for the CPU, I/O, security and other functions. The M1 chip can handle all these tasks itself, eliminating the need for three power-draining chips.

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