Monday, June 6, 2022

Apple M2

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Built using second-generation 5-nanometer technology, M2 takes the industry-leading performance per watt of M1 even further with an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine. It also delivers 50 percent more memory bandwidth compared to M1, and up to 24GB of fast unified memory.


The media engine includes a higher-bandwidth video decoder, supporting 8K H.264 and HEVC video.

Apple’s powerful ProRes video engine enables playback of multiple streams of both 4K and 8K video.


Update (2022-06-10): Dylan Patel:

M2, codenamed Staten, is generally based on the same IP blocks as A15, codenamed Ellis. The codenames being based on some of New York’s most well-known islands which should be a hint to how closely related these architectures are. A lot of the disappointment in performance uplift comes from weak gen-on-gen gains given the nearly 2 yearlong gap versus M1.


We discussed this in the past, but a lot of the slow down stems from Apple losing leagues of amazing engineers to firms such as Nuvia and Rivos.


The funkiness of Apple’s marketing image does mean there is an error window of about 3% after the die was scaled in size.


The [P] core itself is 21% larger than in M1, and 7% larger than A15. The big area of gen-on-gen growth is with the shared L2 cache which has gone from 12MB to 16MB compared to both M1 and A15.


One very interesting change is that the ROB appears smaller in the Avalanche core that is found in A15 and M2 versus the Firestorm core found in M1 and A14.


The E-Core was the main unit of change from a CPU perspective from the A14 to A15 and that holds true here.


The combo of minor wafer price increases, larger dies from 118.91mm2 to 155.25mm2, and more expensive memory hurts [costs] a lot.

Update (2022-06-16): See also: Hacker News.

Update (2024-05-03): See also: Howard Oakley (Hacker News).

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Ghost Quartz

Still limited to single display output (6K at 60Hz). I vaguely recall reading TB4 requiring dual display out, so I assume the I/O is listed as Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4 because of this restriction. It was maybe understandable on the M1 but seems unnecessarily restrictive on the M2… are they trying to upsell buyers to the 14"/16" MBP?

@Ghost_Quartz do you think that is realistic? How are they possibly going to replace the Mac Pro?

Ghost Quartz

@Paul It’s a limitation in the entry-level chip. The M1 Pro/Max/Ultra support two to five external displays depending on the system.

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