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Apple Unveils M1 – First Chip Designed Specifically For the Mac

Apple Unveils M1 – First Chip Designed Specifically For the Mac

Apple today unveiled its first Apple Silicon processor for use in the Mac. The “M1” chip is optimized for use in Mac computers and offers improved performance and power efficiency.

Apple says that M1 delivers the best CPU performance per watt. The M1 chip boasts an eight-core CPU, including four high-performance cores, to make up what Apple calls “the world’s fastest CPU core.” The other four CPU cores are high-efficiency cores that use one-tenth of the power but still deliver high performance.

“There has never been a chip like M1, our breakthrough SoC for the Mac. It builds on more than a decade of designing industry-leading chips for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, and ushers in a whole new era for the Mac,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. “When it comes to low-power silicon, M1 has the world’s fastest CPU core, the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and the amazing machine learning performance of the Apple Neural Engine. With its unique combination of remarkable performance, powerful features, and incredible efficiency, M1 is by far the best chip we’ve ever created.”

The M1 also includes integrated graphics, with a CPU boasting up to eight cores and with 2.6 teraflops of throughput. Apple claims the M1 includes the world’s fastest integrated graphics. The M1 also includes a six-core neural engine that can process 11 trillion operations per second, Apple’s Secure Enclave, and a high-performance storage controller.

M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning, all while enabling battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs.

The M1 is also built on the same five-nanometer process as the A14 Bionic chip and supports Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4.

The M1 chip includes a number of powerful custom technologies, including:
  • Apple’s latest image signal processor (ISP) for higher quality video with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto white balance.
  • The latest Secure Enclave for best-in-class security.
  • A high-performance storage controller with AES encryption hardware for faster and more secure SSD performance.
  • Low-power, highly efficient media encode and decode engines for great performance and extended battery life.
  • An Apple-designed Thunderbolt controller with support for USB 4, transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, and compatibility with more peripherals than ever.

Apple’s new macOS operating system, macOS Big Sur (which will be released on Thursday) is optimized to work with the M1. With Big Sur and M1, Mac users can run a greater range of apps than ever before. All of Apple’s Mac software is now Universal and runs natively on M1 systems. Existing Mac apps that have not been updated to Universal will run seamlessly with Apple’s Rosetta 2 technology. And iPhone and iPad apps can now run directly on the Mac. Additionally, the foundations of Big Sur are optimized to unlock the power of M1, including developer technologies from Metal for graphics to Core ML for machine learning.