Apple silicon leaks: 3 specs to expect from the M2 chip and A16 SoC ↺
1. Mac Pro rumors: One more M1?
Back in March 2022, John Ternus, Apple’s SVP of Hardware Engineering, explicitly referenced the continued scalability of the M1 chip as it relates to a rumored Mac Pro. Shortly after debuting the modular Mac Studio computer available in M1 Max and M1 Ultra chip configurations, Ternus talked of Apple’s silicon transition “That leaves just one more product to go. Mac Pro, but that’s for another day.”
According to Twitter leaker @VNchocoTaco, otherwise known as “ShrimpApplePro”, Apple does in fact have one more thing up its sleeve: the final variant of the M1 chip geared toward professionals. The final SoC in the M1 series is believed to feature updated microarchitecture enhancements based on the A15 Bionic. The existing M1 lineup of chips uses “Icestorm” efficiency cores and “Firestorm” performance cores from the A14 Bionic chip.
The highest-end version of M1 will allegedly feature the even more energy-efficient “Blizzard” cores and even higher performing “Avalanche” cores from the A15 Bionic chip found in devices like the iPhone 13 and the iPad mini (6th generation).
2. A16 SoC: Say "hello" to 5 nm all over again
An additional leak courtesy of Twitter analyst ShrimpApplePro holds that the next chip in Apple’s A-series lineup of SoCs will be based on the same 5-nanometer N5P process from TSMC that was used to fabricate the A14, A15, and M1 chips.
An earlier report from DigiTimes claimed that Apple would be using TSMC’s 4 nm N4P process, though N4P is confusingly a mildly improved third-generation version of the previous 5 nm process. This lends minimal albeit notable credibility to leaks from earlier this year suggesting that the A16 chip would offer minimal improvements against the A15 chip.
3. M2 chip: Next-gen ARM
While little is known about the M2 chip that was originally expected to debut inside Apple’s next-generation MacBook Air, recent reports from leaker ShrimpApplePro on Twitter suggest that the M2 SoC will make the monumental leap to TSMC’s 3-nanometer process.
Skipping 4 nm fabrication entirely, the M2 chip will allegedly be Apple’s first custom silicon based on ARMv9, offering incredible performance-per-watt. This translates into portables packing in longer battery life, increased performance, and reduced thermal constraints.