Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Apple’s Mixed Reality Headset May Be Packing An M2 Chip

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If it lives up to the hype, Apple’s mixed reality headset could be the most powerful AR/VR device on the market, and one of the most complex pieces of hardware the company has ever built. There’s a possibility a lot of that power could come from Apple’s new M2 chip, which was unveiled at WWDC 2022 and promises huge upgrades over the tech giant’s previous generation of silicon. The chip is set to debut in the 2022 incarnations of Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks which hit the shelves in July.

Apple’s M2 chip comes with up to 24GB of LPDDR5, an eight-core CPU, a ten-core GPU, and 100GB/s of memory bandwidth. The chip’s 16-core neural engine can perform up to 15.8 trillion operations per second — and the M2’s chip is said to be 18% more powerful than Apple’s M1 silicon while still consuming the same amount of power. The difference is even clearer when compared to the Intel chips Apple previously used in their devices, with performance boosts of over 30% in some cases. Apple claims their new silicon’s powerful media engine is capable of handling multiple 4K and 8K streams simultaneously. This capacity could make the M2 ideal for AR/VR headset use.

Initial benchmarks for the chip showed Apple’s claims that the M2 is a significant improvement on the previous generation of Apple Silicon have merit. While Geekbench’s benchmark clocked the M2 as around 12% faster than the M1 chip in terms of single-core performance, the multi-score test showed a 20% improvement with the M2. The GPU’s chip also showed massive improvements.

Apple’s latest silicon could make it into their new headset

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Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts the chip’s use won’t be restricted to notebooks. Gurman claims to have been told that: “the latest internal incarnations of the device run the base M2 chip along with 16 gigabytes of RAM.” The writer also says Apple is already working on the chip’s successor, the M3, with a goal of using it in next year’s updated MacBooks. With Apple’s headset reveal predicted to take place in January, there’s a good chance that their new device won’t have Apple’s “latest” silicon in it when it eventually launches.

However, that may not matter. The M2 is already a very powerful chip, and if it is combined with 16 GB of RAM as Gurman predicted, it will be the most powerful stand-alone headset on the market by a long way. This isn’t the first time someone has predicted Apple will be going all out in terms of specs with their first headset. In January, notable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the headset might “require the same level of computing power as the MacBook Pro,” will “offer performance much higher than that of the latest iPhones,” and “may feature not just one, but two processors: One 4nm chip and one 5nm chip.”

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