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5 Things You May Not Know About the M2 Chip

 If you've been following apple's world in recent weeks, you've definitely noticed the introduction of new laptops. Specifically, we've seen a completely redesigned MacBook Air and a new 13" MacBook Pro. Both of these machines hide in the bowels of the currently latest Apple Silicon chip with the designation M2. It is a direct successor to the original M1 chip, and in this article, we are going to talk about 5 things about it that you may not have known.

Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash


Number of transistors

Each chip has transistors that can be used to determine how complex the chip is. About 55 years ago, Moore's Law was even created on the subject of transistors. Specifically, it states that "the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles roughly every 18 months while maintaining the same price." In any case, the truth is that recently this law is no longer valid, as increasing the number of transistors on chips is becoming more and more difficult. In any case, the M2 chip has 20 billion transistors, while the M1 chip had "only" 16 billion transistors.

Manufacturing process

The production process is also related to the number of transistors. This figure has recently been given in nanometers and specifically indicates the distance (free area) between two elements on the chip – most often these are electrodes in transistors. Simply put, this means that the smaller the manufacturing process, the better, as the space on the chip itself is better used and smaller free areas are created. As for the M2 chip, it is manufactured, like the original M1, by a 5 nm manufacturing process. However, the manufacturer of these chips, TSMC, uses a second-generation 5nm manufacturing process for the M2 chip, which is slightly more advanced than the first generation. Other M2 chips (Pro, Max, and Ultra) should already use the 3nm manufacturing process.

Memory throughput

An important value for chips is also the throughput of their memory. Specifically, it is a figure that indicates how much data can be "driven" through the memory in a single second. Of course, in this case, the higher the memory throughput, the better, as it can process a larger volume of data. Specifically, the M2 chip offers a memory throughput of 100 GB/s, which is much more than the M1 – this chip can handle a throughput of "only" about 70 GB/s. Interestingly, the M1 Pro chip has a memory throughput of 200 GB/s, the M1 Max has 400 GB/s and the M1 Ultra has 800 GB/s.

Media engine

One of the main things that distinguish the M2 chip from the M1 is the presence of a media engine. This is a special component of the chip, thanks to which it is possible to work with video much faster. This is especially appreciated by professional editors and individuals who work with video, both in video editing and rendering. Specifically, the media engine supports hardware acceleration of H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW codecs.

All-in-one

Have you ever seen the bowels of a classic laptop or computer? If so, you definitely know that it consists of several basic parts. These are the processor (CPU), graphics card (GPU), operating memory (RAM), and storage, with all these parts being connected to the motherboard. All Apple Silicon chips, they are so-called SoCs (System-on-Chip). This means that the CPU, GPU, and memory, along with some other components, are directly integrated on a single chip that is located on the motherboard. Of the main components, only the disk is outside the chip, in our case an SSD.

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