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As suggested in numerous leaks over the last few weeks, Apple has finally lifted the covers off the next generation of Apple silicon. The new Apple M2 chip builds upon the success of Apple's first ARM-based SoC and focuses on offering better power efficiency, along with some performance gains.

According to Apple, the new Apple M2 chip features the same unified memory architecture as its predecessor, but it offers better performance with less power consumption. The chip packs 20 billion transistors, a whopping 25 percent more than the M1. In addition, the new memory controller delivers 50 percent more bandwidth than the one found on the M1 and supports up to 24GB of unified memory.

Apple M2 specifications graphic

The new Apple M2 chip packs an 8-core CPU consisting of four high-efficiency cores and four high-performance cores. Thanks to this, Apple claims that the M2 delivers 18 percent better performance than the Apple M1. Apple goes so far as to claim that the new M2 chip is 1.9x faster than a 10-core PC laptop chip while using a quarter of the power. Apple also says that the new chip delivers 87 percent of the power of a 12-core PC chip while using a quarter of the power, but we'll thoroughly test these claims as soon as we get our hands on the new MacBook Air.

Along with an upgraded CPU, the new Apple M2 also features a next-gen GPU with up to 10-cores (two more than the M1). The GPU helps the new chip deliver 25% better graphics performance than the M1 and up to 35% when going full tilt. As with the CPU, Apple claims that the upgraded M2 GPU offers 2.3x faster GPU performance than a 10-core PC laptop.

Apple has also packed a couple of other interesting features on the new M2 chip, including a Secure Enclave, a Neural Engine, a next-gen Media Engine with 8k, H.254, HEVC video, and ProRes support. The new Media Engine helps the M2 output multiple streams of 4K and 8K videos and offer 6K external display support. The Apple M2 will debut on the new MacBook Air and updated MacBook Pro 13.