Report: Apple M2 chips arriving in 2022, M3 to follow 18 months after M2

The upcoming Apple M2 chips are reportedly arriving in lower-end Macs in 2022, to be followed by the more powerful M2 Pro and M2 Max versions in higher-end systems in 2023. As for the third-generation M3 chips, those should follow 18 months after M2.

Apple's marketing image showing a top-down view of M1 Mac mini

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A report claims Apple’s Mac chips are on an 18-month development cycle
  • The second-generation M2 chips should drop in the second half of 2022
  • Those should be followed by M2 Pro and M2 Max in 2023
  • By contrast, Apple’s mobile chips are on an annual cycle

When will Apple M2, M2 Pro and M2 Max launch?

According to a report from Taiwan’s Commercial Times, Apple Mac chips are on an 18-month development cycle, with the second-generation Apple silicon reportedly launching in 2022 and 2023. According to the report, new Mac computers powered by Apple’s upcoming M2 chips will arrive in the second half of 2022. More powerful Mac systems powered by the Apple M2 Pro and M2 Max chips should follow in the first half of 2023.

  • 4nm Apple M2 codenamed “Staten” in the first half of 2022
  • 4nm Apple M2 Pro and Pro Max codenamed “Rhodes” in the first half of 2023

The new chips should be fabbed using TSMC’s new four-nanometer process technology. The current first-generation Apple M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are produced using TSMC’s five-nanometer process. The same technology, says the write-up, should be used in the manufacture of the Apple A16 chip for the iPhone 14 family in 2022.

Note the discrepancy between the supposed 18-month refresh cycle for Mac chips vs. the iPhone and iPad ones which have been on an annual development cycle since the onset. Read: How to distinguish between Apple silicon and Intel apps on your Mac

Third-generation Apple silicon with two dies

The Information in November 2021 published a supposed roadmap for upcoming Apple silicon chips with the codenames “Ibiza,” “Lobos,” and “Palma.” Those chips apparently will contain two dies fabbed using TSMC’s 5-nanometer process.

  • Apple silicon “Ibiza” is a low-power version for iPad and MacBook Air
  • Apple silicon “Lobos” and “Palma” could be for MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and iMac Pro

Are these chips separate from Rhodes?

According to The Information, that’s a yes. “Ibiza,” “Lobos,” and “Palma” are reportedly part of Appleā€™s third generation of Mac processors. Three people with direct knowledge of the projects told The Information that the M3-branded chips “look to be an especially big step up from the processors Intel is expected to begin shipping around that time”.

Apple’s transition to its own silicon for Macs is a two-year process that should end with the introduction of an Apple Silicon edition of the Mac Pro workstation in 2022.