Apple launches redesigned MacBook Air and M2 chip at WWDC 2022

Company also announced redesigned MacBook Air and updated MacBook Pro, both powered by new chip

Guests view the new MacBook Air, powered by the M2 chip, during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at Apple Park in Cupertino. Bloomberg
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Apple, which released its own M1 chips in November 2020 to reduce its reliance on other chip makers such as Intel, launched its second-generation M2 chip on Monday to strengthen its position in the semiconductor industry.

Built using the second-generation five-nanometre technology, M2 silicon comes with an 18 per cent faster central processing unit than the M1.

It offers a 35 per cent more powerful graphics processing unit and a 40 per cent faster neural engine, the company said.

“M2 starts the second generation of M-series chips and goes beyond the remarkable features of M1,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technology, while launching the new chip.

“With our relentless focus on power-efficient performance, M2 delivers a faster CPU, GPU, and neural engine."

And along with higher memory bandwidth and new capabilities, M2 continues the tremendous pace of innovation in Apple silicon for the Mac.

The M2 chip delivers 50 per cent more memory bandwidth compared to the M1, and up to 24GB of fast unified memory, the company said.

The M1 chip was followed by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in October 2021. In March, Apple unveiled M1 Ultra, which the company claimed to be the world’s most powerful chip for a personal computer.

The global semiconductor market is booming. The industry, which was upended by Covid-induced supply friction in 2020 and 2021, is projected to reap nearly 14 per cent more in revenue this year compared to 2021, to reach $676 billion, according to a report by Gartner.

Driven by increasing demand and rising chip prices, the industry will hit $700.6bn in 2023, a yearly rise of 3.6 per cent, the US researcher said.

The latest M2 brings Apple’s latest custom-built technology to the laptops, enabling new capabilities and better security.

The neural engine can process up to 15.8 trillion operations a second — over 40 per cent more than M1.

The neural engine in Mac is designed to accelerate machine-learning tasks in areas such as video analysis, voice recognition and image processing.

The company also announced a redesigned MacBook Air and an updated MacBook Pro, both powered by the new M2 chip.

“We are so excited to bring our new M2 chip to the world’s two most popular laptops — the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

“Completely redesigned around M2, MacBook Air is thinner, lighter and faster with a bigger display, better camera and all-day battery life.

"Only with Apple silicon can you build such a thin and light notebook."

Updated: June 23, 2022, 7:22 AM