The redesigned MacBook Air might have an M1, not an M2

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo “strongly believes” the upcoming MacBook Air redesign will feature an M1 chip instead of the widely anticipated “M2” upgrade. Kuo made the comment on it 9to5Mac after a tweet where he predicted an “all new” design for the laptop with more color options and no mini-LED display.

The redesigned MacBook Air is said to have previously featured an M2 chip designed by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Apple can of course set its own nomenclature for its chips for marketing reasons, but if the M1 naming scheme follows the A-series chips in iPhones and iPads, the next higher number would mean an upgrade in CPU design. The M1 chips, including the M1 Pro, Max, and the just-announced Ultra, all use different configurations of CPU cores based on what’s found in the iPhone 12’s A14 chip.

So an M2 would likely use cores derived from the A15 or the suspected A16 in this year’s upcoming iPhones. As for the new MacBook Air, if it stayed with the M1 chip and branding, it could theoretically still offer a performance boost by including more cores. There are already 7-core and 8-core GPU variants of the M1, and Gurman has reported that Apple is testing an unnamed chip with 8 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores. That could either be the M2 or an upgraded M1.

Kuo expects the new MacBook Air to start mass production late in the second or third quarter of this year.

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