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Apple closes the Intel chapter for Macs with new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips

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Apple has got things rolling in the new year, including the new M2 series chips, while the MacBook Pro series refreshes. The tech giant has utilized these refresh cycles to add two high-end chips to the M2 chip series. The now updated MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 as well as the Mac Mini refresh, complete the switch from Intel chips to Apple Silicon. That means, the benefits we have seen in the M2 series in the MacBook Pro 13 and the MacBook Air with M2 provide the foundation for even more powerful performance with longer battery life in parallel.

The hierarchy in the M2 series family now has the M2 as the entry spec chip, which currently powers the aforementioned MacBook 13 and latest generation MacBook Air. The M2 Pro is a step up while the M2 Max is the highest spec chip in the line-up now. Both are options on the new MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 machines.

The M2 family is complete

The Apple M2 chip was announced over the summer last year. This second generation 5-namometer chip succeeded the M1 with an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine. This supports up to 24GB unified memory and compared with the M1, itself has 50 percent more memory bandwidth.

Let us look at some numbers for the M2 Pro and M2 Max.

The M2 Pro scales up the architecture of M2 chip, with an up to 12-core CPU and up to 19-core GPU, with up to 32GB RAM, or what Apple refers to as fast unified memory. As the next step, the M2 Max builds forward from the M2 Pro, with an up to 38-core GPU, up to 96GB of unified memory and double the bandwidth for the same. Both M2 Pro and M2 Max also get a faster 16-core Neural Engine.

“Only Apple is building SoCs like M2 Pro and M2 Max. They deliver incredible pro performance along with industry-leading power efficiency,” says Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies.

Comparisons with Intel chips?

Apple claims the M2 Pro-powered MacBook Pro is up to 6x faster in terms of performance than a MacBook Pro running the fastest Intel processors. For now, these comparisons are based on the MacBook Pro environment, keeping thermal requirements for instance, at par.

The M2 Pro is claimed to be as much as 80 percent faster Intel chips in MacBooks when rendering titles and animations in Motion, 2.5x faster when compiling in Xcode and up to 80 percent faster with image processing in Adobe Photoshop. The performance advantage between the M2 Max and the fastest Intel chip in a MacBook, is even more stark – as much as 2x faster with color grading in DaVinci Resolve app while effects rendering in Cinema 4D would be as much as 6x faster.

The M2 Pro now has 40 billion transistors, which is almost 20 percent more than M1 Pro, and double the amount in M2. The M2 Max flexes its muscles more with 67 million transistors, which is 10 billion more than an M1 Max and more than 3x that of the M2.

Decoding the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16

First things first, the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 will not be available in a spec that has the M2 or any older M1 series chip, as a basic config. You’ll have the choice of the M2 Pro or the M2 Max, with any further customisations as you may desire.

“MacBook Pro with Apple silicon has been a game changer, empowering pros to push the limits of their workflows while on the go and do things they never thought possible on a laptop,” says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Not much has changed in terms of the design, with these two machines following the language defined in the previous upgrade cycle. Therefore, more rounded edges and straighter lines, continue to feature.

Also Read:Apple to launch its first touch screen Macbook in 2025?

Apple claims battery life up to 22 hours on the new MacBooks. These have Wi-Fi 6E, Liquid Retina XDR displays (that is 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch in size) as well as 1080p FaceTime HD camera, as standard configurations. Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, MagSafe 3 port and Magic Keyboard with Touch ID are standard across all variants.

The MacBook Pro 14 entry spec variant is priced at 1,99,900 and is powered by a M2 Pro with a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, along with 16GB unified memory and 512GB SSD. This will draw its power from a 67-watt USB-C power adapter.

You will notice the differentiation on CPU and GPU cores, across and within the product lines. The mid-spec MacBook Pro 14 priced at 2,49,900 gets an M2 Pro a 12-core CPU, a 19-core GPU, 16GB unified memory and 1TB SSD. The power requirements are now met by a 96W USB-C adapter.

The highest spec option here comes with an M2 Max chip with a 12-core CPU and 30-core GPU, alongside a bump to 32GB unified memory with 1TB storage remaining constant as the previous spec. It costs 3,09,900. This also needs a 96W USB-C power adapter.

MacBook Pro 16 holds extreme performance potential. The entry spec and mid-spec variants of the MacBook Pro 16 are powered by the M2 Pro chip, in the 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU avatar. The 16GB unified memory is same across both variants, with the only real differentiator being the 512GB or 1TB SSD for storage. These machines are priced at 2,49,900 and 2,69,900.

The highest spec default config gets the M1 Max with a 12-core CPU and 38-core GPU with 32GB unified memory and 1TB storage. It’ll set you back by 3,49,900.

Mac Mini: Unbelievable value?

The uber-compact desktop computing device from Apple, the Mac Mini, also gets the generational update with the M2 and M2 Pro as chip options to choose from. There is one M2 chip in two different config combinations while the M2 Pro sits at the top of the ladder.

Prices start at 59,900 for the M2 chip that has an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU, with 8GB unified memory and 256GB SSD for storage. A bump up gets you a 512GB SSD, while all other specs remain the same. This costs 79,900.

The M2 Pro chip in the Mac Mini is with a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, as well as 16GB memory and 512GB storage. It is priced at 1,29,900 and that is a significant difference you’ll pay for the performance boost.

All Mac Mini will have two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet and a headphone jack built in. No dabbling with dongles or docking accessories. All you’ll need to figure is a display to connect with the Mac Mini. The Thunderbolt 4 standard gets a theoretical data transfer top speed of 40Gbps which means you can output to a display up to 6K resolution at 60Hz refresh rate. If you choose the HDMI option instead, then an 8K resolution display is also very much an option for you.


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Union Budget 2023: Centre plans to table 19 bills during the session

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The Narendra Modi government plans to introduce 19 new bills, including The Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill that aims to empower the commander- in-chief or the officer-in-command of inter-services organisations for maintenance of discipline and proper discharge of their duties. A total of 26 bills, including seven pending bills, will form the legislative agenda of the government in this budget session.

The first half of the session, scheduled till February 13, will be primarily spent on discussing the President’s address to the joint sitting of both Houses and the Budget, and, according to functionaries familiar with the matter, could end on February 10.

UNION BUDGET 2023: FULL COVERAGE

The list of bills includes The Development of Enterprises and Services Hubs (DESH) Bill, 2023 that seeks to replace and repeal the Special Economic Zones Act and to frame rules, as well as the Trademarks (Amendment) Bill, 2023 for a convenient and cost-effective way of managing trademarks. Similarly, the government will bring legislation to amend the GI Act to make some of the procedures simpler in order to be more accessible to stakeholders.

The government will also bring three bills related to Jammu and Kashmir: To change the nomenclature of “weak and underprivileged classes (social castes)” in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act to “Other Backward Classes”, inclusion of the Valmiki community as a Scheduled Caste and to revise the list of Scheduled Tribes in Jammu and Kashmir.

ALSO READ: After ‘smart recovery’ from Covid, what do MSMEs expect from Budget 2023

Among the new bills listed for introduction, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2023 envisages rationalising the prohibited area and other amendments, the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 to promote plantation in non-forest areas and conserve forests, and the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023 are seen as important.

Bills to set up a National Dental Commission, the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission, and making the registration of birth and deaths people-friendly are also on the agenda. The government plans to bring legislation to empower the Kalakshetra Foundation to award certificates, diplomas, postgraduate diplomas in arts, crafts and other fields.

The multi-state cooperative authorities amendment bill, being reviewed by a joint committee, has been listed for passage.

Read | Union Budget 2023 to be tabled in Parliament today. Here are 5 big expectations

The government’s floor managers and Lok Sabha floor leaders discussed the agenda for the first half of the budget session in a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. “The government managers indicated that the first half will not have any non-financial legislative agenda. We have roughly eight days in hand in the first half, which would be entirely devoted to the two discussions,” a person who attended the meeting said, asking not to be identified.

After the budget is presented in Parliament on Wednesday, the Business Advisory Committee of both Houses will meet to allot discussions on the demand for grants of individual ministries in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

At the meeting of government and opposition leaders on Tuesday, many leaders argued against the session carrying on till February 13. “You can say there was a sense of the House that the session of February 13 could be avoided as parliamentarians will have return to Delhi after a weekend break for just one day of proceedings,” said a senior leader.

Those who attended the meeting pointed out that February 11 and 12 being Saturday and Sunday, “it is better that the first half of the session ends on Friday, February 10. If needed, we are ready to sit for a few extra days in the second half,” according to another person who attended the meeting, and who too did not wish to be identified.

The budget session of Parliament, the longest in a calendar year, is scheduled to have 27 sittings and continue till April 6 with a month-long recess to examine the budget papers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said earlier.

Parliament will reconvene on March 12 for the second part of the session.

In the last winter session, both Houses were adjourned four working days ahead of the schedule after a number of Opposition leaders demanded adjournment citing Christmas and the festive season. The session, however, saw limited government business and introduction of only seven of the 16 non-financial bills from the government’s agenda.

Traditionally, both Houses approve the motion of thanks to the President’s speech and the Lok Sabha clears the general budget in the first half. The Upper House, with no power to veto any finance bill or budget proposal, only refers it back to the Lok Sabha.

The discussion on demand for grants and the approval for the finance bill takes place in the second half. After the budgetary approvals—part of the government’s constitutional obligation—are over, the government presents its legislative agenda for passage.

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Economic Survey projects GDP growth at 6-6.8% for FY24

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India’s GDP will grow at a baseline value of 11% in nominal terms and 6.5% in real terms in 2023-24, according to the 2022-23 Economic Survey, which put real growth in the range of 6-6.8% depending on downside and upside risks.

It added that structural reforms undertaken over the past eight years — GST, inclusion, privatisation, ease of doing business, creation of a public digital infrastructure, and other such — haven’t really paid off on account of shocks to the economy such as balance sheet stress of banks and private sector companies, the pandemic, and a global commodity price shock. As these “fade away”, the “economy is well placed to grow at its potential in the coming decade”, the survey argued.

The survey, tabled in Parliament on January 31 underlined the fact that “agencies worldwide continue to project India has the fastest growing major economy” despite the three shocks of Covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine war, and synchronised policy rate hikes by central banks across the world that led to appreciation of the US dollar and widening of the current account deficit (CAD) in net importing economies.

Also Read | Union Budget 2023 to be tabled in Parliament today. Here are 5 big expectations

The survey credited private consumption and (government driven) capex (capital expenditure) as the principal drivers of growth in 2022-23 even as it underlined that “private capex soon needs to take up the leadership role to put job creation on fast track”.

Chief Economic Adviser V Anantha Nageswaran, the architect of the Economic Survey attributed the reason behind the range to geopolitical uncertainties globally.

He said the survey gave a range between 6% and 6.8% deliberately. “We do understand that global political and economic environment remain still ripe with uncertainties. We have many known-unknowns as well as unknown-unknowns.”

UNION BUDGET 2023: FULL COVERAGE

“We also do not know how the speed with which global economy recovers, will lead to the kind of inflation pressures that we saw last year,” he said. In this context, he pointed to the rapid reopening of the Chinese economy. And “as of now” the US economy looks to avoid “a full-fledged formal recession”, he added.

The CEA said international crude oil and industrial metal prices would also impact the GDP growth because they are higher compared to December 2022. “From the Indian standpoint, a moderate to somewhat significant global economic slowdown will [lead to better outcome] because it would lead to lower commodity prices and secession of interest rate tightening in the developed world, weaker dollar, etc.,” he said. “Therefore, in order to make sure, that we fully accommodate the downside risks the band has been kept at 6 to 6.8 %, and baseline number at 6.5 percent.”

The survey identified four key upsides in India’s growth outlook. They are, limited health and economic fallout for the rest of world from the surge in Covid-19 infections in China; inflationary impulses from China’s opening up turning out to be neither significant nor persistent; and recessionary conditions in major advanced economies triggering a cessation of monetary tightening and return of capital flows to India amidst stable domestic inflation below 6%. These three factors, the Economic Survey reasoned, would generate the fourth upside, an improvement in animal spirits providing further impetus to private sector investment.

Commenting on India’s performance in 2022-23 — economic growth “in the range of 6.5-7% — the survey noted that while RBI’s interest rate hikes, widening of CAD, and plateauing export growth, posed downside risks to India’s growth, “the growth estimate for 2022-23 is higher than for almost all major economies and even slightly above the average growth of the Indian economy in the decade leading up to the pandemic”. India’s growth performance, “and that too without the advantage of a base effect”, the survey noted, was “a reflection of India’s underlying economic resilience, of its ability to recoup, renew and reenergise the growth drivers of the economy”, with “the domestic stimulus to growth seamlessly replacing the external stimuli”.

This achievement has been made in a uniquely difficult global economic environment which has suffered three global economic shocks since 2020, unlike in the past when global economic shocks were severe but spread across time, the survey said.

Praising the post-pandemic capex focus in central government spending, the survey underlined that the capex focus in the last two budgets “was not an isolated initiative meant only to address the infrastructure gaps in the country” but “part of a strategic package aimed at crowding-in private investment into an economic landscape broadened by the vacation of non-strategic public sector enterprises (disinvestment) and idling public sector assets”.

Indicating that the government will adhere to its fiscal deficit target for 2022-23 and continue on the fiscal consolidation path in the Union Budget, the survey said that higher buoyancy in both direct taxes and Goods and Services Tax (GST) along with limited growth in revenue expenditure “should ensure the full expending of the capital budget within the budgeted fiscal deficit”.

With concerns around a K-shaped recovery in the Indian economy, the Economic Survey argued that India’s growth performance has been inclusive with the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) showing a lowering of unemployment rates and increase in labour force participation rate. Schemes such as the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) also played their part in helping smaller firms and the poor, the survey said.

Lakshmi Iyer, CEO-Investment Advisory at Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd said: “The economic survey has projected FY 2024 growth at 6-6.8%. This seems a tad stretched given the fact that there is a global slowdown, specifically in global exports. It also comes at a time when domestic demand is slowing down initially and we need to be fiscally prudent, especially after almost 3 years of fiscal breach (globally too) due to the pandemic phase.”

Experts are optimistic about India’s growth next year provided the government gives proper policy push. “While there are talks of a global slowdown, expectation continues for India to be the fastest growing economy in the world. Though inflation has been amplified by geo-political challenges, India should quickly create value based global supply chains so as to attain cost effective growth,” said Yezdi Nagporewalla, CEO, KPMG in India.

“The strong balance sheet of banks and corporates are rightly assumed to give a private capex push in addition to the government capex push if the assumptions on the external and demand front are realised,” Sanjeev Krishan, Chairperson, PwC in India, added.

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Union Budget 2023 to be tabled in Parliament today. Here are 5 big expectations

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Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2023 in the Lok Sabha in a few hours from now. It will be the last full budget of the Narendra Modi government before it faces the general elections in the summer next year.

When the finance minister begins her address at 11 am, the Indian middle class and India Inc would be keenly waiting for some relief in wake of global meltdown.

On Tuesday, the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament pegged India’s real growth in the range of 6-6.8 per cent depending on the downside and upside risks. The survey underlined the fact that the global agencies continue to project India as the fastest growing major economy despite the Covid-19 shocks, the Russia-Ukraine war and the policy rate hikes by the central banks across the world.

UNION BUDGET 2023: FULL COVERAGE

Later, chief economic advisor V Anantha Nageswaran said that the Indian economy is poised to do better on the back of the reforms undertaken by the Centre and expected to clock a 6.5-7 per cent growth in the remaining part of the decade. He added that the inflation by and large is likely to be ‘well behaved’ in the upcoming fiscal barring headwinds.

Here are the five big-ticket expectations from Nirmala Sitharaman’s fifth budget.

1. Income tax relief: The salaried professionals are the taxpayers who have the most expectations from the Budget. The middle class has been hit the hardest by increasing prices of essentials and fuel price hike. The expectations are rife that the finance minister may tweak income-tax slabs to provide middle class a much needed relief. Recently, Sitharaman said she identifies herself as a middle class and understands the pressure faced by the section.

2. Real estate sector: The real estate sector has managed to bounce back following the dry spell due to Covid-19 pandemic. The housing sector is eyeing a robust demand in the upcoming financial year. The key expectations include relaxations in taxes, reduction in stamp duty, reduction in GST on raw materials like cement and steel. Arihant Infrastructures, CMD, Ashok Chhajer told ANI that the government should focus on reducing home loan rates. “The government should reduce home loan rates. The affordable housing segment, which is capped at 45 lakh, should be changed to 60-75 lakh which is the average cost of a house in Metro cities and 2-tier cities,” said Chhajer.

ALSO READ: After ‘smart recovery’ from Covid, what do MSMEs expect from Budget 2023

3. Healthcare: The healthcare sector is expecting more spend on boosting the health infrastructure in the country. According to the Economic Survey tabled in the Parliament, the Centre’s share in the total health expenditure increased from 28.6 per cent in the financial year 2014-15 to 40.6 per cent in 2019-2020. The survey stated the government has also strengthened health infrastructure and prepared itself to address present and future needs, PTI reported.

4. Railways: The Railway budget is included in the Union Budget which will be tabled today. The expectations of general public include controlling train ticket fares, focus on cleanliness in trains, increase in number of trains among others. The students have demanded that Railways run separate trains for them to appear for exams in other cities.

5. Manufacturing: The experts have high expectations from the budget as they feel it will re-energise the manufacturing sector which is trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic impact. The sector is expecting new policies, concessions and other schemes for growth.

(With PTI, ANI inputs)


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