Apple M2

The Apple M2 is a series of ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc. as a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) for its Mac desktops and notebooks, and the iPad Pro tablet. An SoC is a single chip that integrates multiple components of a computer or electronic device, such as the CPU, GPU, memory, and input/output interfaces, in a single package. It is the second generation of ARM architecture intended for Apple's Mac computers after switching from Intel Core to Apple silicon, succeeding the M1. Apple announced the M2 on June 6, 2022, at WWDC, along with models of the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro using the M2. It was released on June 24, 2022. The M2 is made with TSMC's "Enhanced 5-nanometer technology" N5P process and contains 20 billion transistors, a 25% increase from the M1. Apple claims CPU improvements up to 18% and GPU improvements up to 35% compared to the M1.[1] The M2 was followed by the professional-focused M2 Pro and M2 Max chips in January 2023. The M2 Max is a higher-powered version of the M2 Pro, with more GPU cores and memory bandwidth, and a larger die size.[2]

Apple M2
Apple M2 Pro
Apple M2 Max
General information
LaunchedM2: June 24, 2022
M2 Pro and Max: January 17, 2023
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
  • TSMC
Performance
Max. CPU clock rate3.49 GHz
Cache
L1 cachePerformance cores
192+128 KB per core
Efficiency cores
128+64 KB per core
L2 cachePerformance cores
M2: 16 MB
M2 Pro and M2 Max: 32 MB

Efficiency cores
4 MB
Last level cacheM2: 8 MB
M2 Pro: 24 MB
M2 Max: 48 MB
Architecture and classification
ApplicationM2: Notebook (MacBook family), tablet (iPad Pro)
M2 Pro: Notebook (MacBook Pro), desktop (Mac mini)
M2 Max: Notebook (MacBook Pro)
Technology node5 nm (N5P)
Microarchitecture"Avalanche" and "Blizzard"
Instruction setARMv8.5-A
Physical specifications
Transistors
  • M2: 20 billion
    M2 Pro: 40 billion
    M2 Max: 67 billion
Cores
  • M2: 8 (4× high-performance + 4× high-efficiency)
    M2 Pro: 10 or 12 (6× or 8× high-performance + 4× high-efficiency)
    M2 Max: 12 (8× high-performance + 4× high-efficiency)
GPU(s)Apple-designed integrated graphics
M2: 8 or 10 core GPU
M2 Pro: 16 or 19 core GPU
M2 Max: 30 or 38 core GPU
Products, models, variants
Variant(s)
History
PredecessorApple M1
Intel Core and Apple T2 chip (M2 Pro Mac mini)

Design

CPU

The M2 has four high-performance "Avalanche" and four energy-efficient "Blizzard" cores, first seen in the A15 Bionic, providing a hybrid configuration similar to ARM DynamIQ, as well as Intel's Alder Lake and Raptor Lake processors. The high-performance cores have 192 KB of L1 instruction cache and 128 KB of L1 data cache and share a 16 MB L2 cache;[3] the energy-efficient cores have a 128 KB L1 instruction cache, 64 KB L1 data cache, and a shared 4 MB L2 cache. It also has an 8 MB system level cache shared by the GPU. The M2 Pro has 10 or 12 CPU cores, and the M2 Max has 12.

GPU

The M2 integrates an Apple designed ten-core (or eight-core) graphics processing unit (GPU). Each GPU core is split into 32 execution units, which each contain eight arithmetic logic units (ALUs). In total, the M2 GPU contains up to 320 execution units or 2,560 ALUs, which have a maximum floating point (FP32) performance of 3.6 TFLOPs. The M2 Pro has 16 or 19 GPU cores, and the M2 Max has 30 or 38.

Memory

The M2 uses 6,400 MT/s LPDDR5 SDRAM in a unified memory configuration shared by all the components of the processor. The SoC and RAM chips are mounted together in a system-in-a-package design. 8 GB, 16 GB and 24 GB configurations are available. It has a 128-bit memory bus with 100 GB/s bandwidth, same as the M1, and the M2 Pro and M2 Max continue the performance from the last generation, with approximately 200 GB/s and 400 GB/s respectively.

Other features

The M2 contains dedicated neural network hardware in a 16-core Neural Engine capable of executing 15.8 trillion operations per second. Other components include an image signal processor, a PCIe storage controller, a Secure Enclave, and a USB4 controller that includes Thunderbolt 3 support.

Supported codecs on the M2 include 8K H.264, 8K H.265 (8/10bit, up to 4:4:4), 8K Apple ProRes, VP9, and JPEG.

Performance and efficiency

The M2 features faster performance cores and a larger cache than its predecessor, while the efficiency cores have also been improved for greater performance than its predecessor.[1]

Compared to the CPU of the Intel Core i7-1255U, the M2's CPU delivers nearly twice the performance at the same power consumption level. It delivers the peak performance with a quarter of its power consumption level.[1]

Compared to the CPU of the Intel Core i7-1260P, the M2's CPU delivers nearly 90 percent of the peak performance with a quarter of its power consumption level.[1]

Compared to the GPU in the Intel Core i7-1255U, the M2's GPU delivers 2.3 times faster performance at the same power consumption level and matches its peak performance with a fifth of its power consumption level.[1]

Products that use the Apple M2 series

M2

M2 Pro

M2 Max

See also

References

  1. "Apple unveils M2, taking the breakthrough performance and capabilities of M1 even further" (Press release). Apple. June 6, 2022. Archived from the original on June 10, 2022. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  2. "Apple unveils MacBook Pro featuring M2 Pro and M2 Max". Apple Newsroom (Press release). Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  3. "Apple Announces M2 SoC: Apple Silicon for Macs Updated for 2022". AnandTech. 2022-06-06. Archived from the original on 2022-11-10. Retrieved 2022-11-09.
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