This year has been really difficult for Intel and only now at the end of it has it been able to raise its head and show what it is capable of doing. But the latest leaks assure that there is something that it will not be able to recover: enter Apple products. And it is that those of Cupertino would have the new SoC ready Apple M2 that would displace and replace the few remaining Intel CPUs in their products based on a lithographic process of 4 nm by TSMC.
Apple already gave Intel an ultimatum more than 3 years ago, after which it launched a joint project that would lead to ARM-based SoCs that have surprised locals and strangers. It is true that Intel was late, but Apple was not patient and preferred to make its own SoC that would destroy Intel’s hopes to keep them as a preferred partner. Now, and after 18 months since the presentation of the first M1, Apple will launch the new M2 to the world, without a clear date.
Announced at CES 2022?
There are some rumors without much foundation that claim that Apple could be present at CES 2022, but practically all the possibilities ensure that they will not appear there and that they will again bet on a private event and manufactured by themselves.
Mainly because it seems that in 2022 they will go big thanks to the renewal of no less than six main product lines that will boost the company once again:
- Macbook pro
- iMac Pro
- Mac Mini
- Mac Pro
But what can they all have in common? Well, a new ARM architecture and a new common SoC suffix, named M2. As right now Apple has in the bedroom a series of the most complete SoCs and for the launch, which will be forged gradually and not suddenly to diversify the strategy of those of the bitten apple.
TSMC will be behind all M2
The variants will arrive between the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023 to finally say goodbye to all traces of Intel in the company and look to the future without them, frustrating the desire of Pat Gelsinger in the meantime. The versions that are on the table are M2, M2 Pro and M2 Max, where the former has received the codename Staten, while its older brothers share the Rhodes name.
All will arrive with the second generation of the EUV process, a derivation of the current 5 nm and therefore will not have to change main patterns beyond the design, such as white masks. The 4 nm will even reduce the complexity of the process of said masks and there will be a better performance and energy cost by achieving an improved BEOL.
Density will improve a 6% thanks to the optical shrinkage of the new ASML scanners, so it’s really the only palpable improvement in the face of higher performance from this new Apple M2. Is it the final blow to Intel? Or will Intel convince the giant to come back?