Apple’s follow-up to the M1 processor has moved into mass production as the company readies new MacBooks that will use its in-house, Arm-based chips, according to a report.
The second-generation processor is “tentatively” known as the M2, and mass production began on the chip this month at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the report from Nikkei Asia said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The report comes as Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has been extending its M1 processor further into its product portfolio, with the announcement last week of a new iMac and refreshed iPad Pro models that will feature the chip.
Nikkei Asia reported that shipments of the M2 processor are slated to begin in July, and that the chip will be used in MacBook laptops that will launch in the second half of 2021.
The MacBook Air and the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro already feature Apple’s in-house silicon via the M1. However, the higher-tier 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 16-inch MacBook Pro are so far only available with Intel processors.
The report on the M2 points to Apple’s next moves in eliminating Intel as a supplier for its Mac line. Apple is about five months into the two-year transition away from Intel, which Apple announced with the unveiling of the M1 last November.
The company has touted advantages for its M1 processor including gains on performance and battery life. For instance, Apple said the M1 will offer up to 85-percent faster CPU performance on the new iMac and up to 50-percent faster CPU performance on the new iPad Pro. The two products enter pre-orders on Friday with shipping in the second half of May.
According to a report from Bloomberg in December, Apple has been developing its next series of custom processors for Macs to offer performance that could “significantly outpace” the speeds of even the fastest Intel-based PCs.