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Apple Silicon's latest chip may not be an M2 but a final, even more powerful M1

Apple Silicon's latest chip may not be an M2 but a final, even more powerful M1

Apple Silicon's latest chip may not be an M2 but a final, even more powerful M1
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By Vijay Anand  May 30, 2022 7:38:50 PM IST (Updated)

Apple M1 chip was already considered the most powerful. It was then eclipsed by the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Then came M1 Ultra, which is quite literally two M1 Max chips fused together in such a way that no performance is lost.

Whenever a major Apple event is around the corner, the rumour mills work themselves up into a frenzy. With one week left for Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), this year is no different.

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Except, it isn't software so much that is being speculated about — it's good old, dependable, tangible hardware "leaks" that are the grist to these rumour mills.
As noted in our WWDC 2022 preview last week, there's a slim chance that Apple will announce the successor to its game-changing M1 chip, which could possibly be named M2.
Now, however, there are fresh leaks from various sources that threw out this baby with the bathwater — apparently, there is one final M1 chip in the works, as well as an M2 chip that is expected to power the next generation of Macs.
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Macrumors, a website that tracks all things Apple — rumours and facts — reports that a leaker who calls himself "ShrimpApplePro" on Twitter claims that the Cupertino tech giant is currently working on a final variant of M1, purportedly more powerful than the already ridiculously powerful M1 Ultra chip that was launched alongside Apple Mac Studio in March.
Just to recap, at the time of its launch, the M1 was already considered the most powerful chip in a computer. It was then eclipsed by the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Then came M1 Ultra, which is quite literally two M1 Max chips fused together in such a way that no performance is lost — it is twice as powerful as the M1 Max.
Here is a visual representation of just how much more powerful each successive M1 chip is compared to its predecessor. (Image: Apple)
For perspective, both the M1 Pro and M1 Max are supposed to have 70 percent faster CPUs than the M1. The M1 Pro's GPU is twice as powerful as the M1's, while the M1 Max packs a GPU that is four times as powerful. Then there's the M1 Ultra, which literally delivers twice the performance of the M1 Max without any loss in performance or power efficiency.
Now, as MacRumors suggests, there's yet another M1 chip in the works — the final in this series and the most powerful one yet. Will that be three M1 Max chips fused together or even, incredibly enough, two M1 Ultra chips fused together for a gargantuan M1 Ultra Pro Max (or whatever it ends up being called)? Boggles the mind, just thinking about it.
If yes, then does that mean the announcement of the M2 chips, and, consequently, the much-awaited next-generation MacBook Air and base MacBook Pro will take longer to arrive? The current models are two years old. Or is this all just a giant rumour, with Apple announcing at WWDC 2022 the next step in its Apple Silicon project with the M2, and new MacBooks?
One thing's for sure. The M1 "Ultra Pro Max" will definitely not be for the faint of heart — it will not be making its way into entry-level Macs, and will almost certainly be aimed at professionals who need enough computing power to take them to the moon and back with just a few nimble keystrokes. So common sense dictates that Apple must refresh its entry-level Macs — Air and Pro — and keep the final M1 chip for specialised use cases.
There's only one way to find out — wait for Tim Cook to take the virtual stage at One Apple Park on Monday, June 6.
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