The Apple Silicon M1 chip: First look
During its introduction, Apple promised its chip will deliver industry-leading performance, powerful features and incredible efficiency. It is the first ever Apple Silicon chip inside a Mac, here’s everything we know.
The M1 is a fast lane
The M1 is Apple’s first chip designed specifically for the Mac and is optimized for Mac systems in which small size and power efficiency are critically important.
As a system on a chip (SoC), M1 combines numerous powerful technologies into a single chip, and features a unified memory architecture for dramatically improved performance and efficiency.
M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometre process technology and is packed with an astounding 16 billion transistors, the most Apple has ever put into a chip.
“It features the world’s fastest CPU core in low-power silicon, the world’s best CPU performance per watt, the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and breakthrough machine learning performance with the Apple Neural Engine,” Apple said.
What Apple said
“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.”
All in on the M1
The chip combines all the different system components, such as CPU, GPU, I/O, and security on a single 5nm processor. M1 also features a unified memory architecture that brings together high-bandwidth, low-latency memory into a single pool within a custom package.
- The M1 chip is packed with 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 40 Gbps and compatibility with more peripherals than ever.
Speeds and feeds
The processor delivers a compelling sequence of speeds and feeds results.
- M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance
- M1 offers 6x faster GPU performance.
- It provides 15x faster machine learning,
- Offers battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs.
- M1 features an 8-core CPU consisting of four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores.
- This efficiency means developers can build apps nearly 3x faster than before.
- The the GPU in M1 deliers up to eight powerful cores capable of running nearly 25,000 threads simultaneously.
- With 2.6 teraflops of throughput, M1 has the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer.
- The Neural engine is capable of 11 trillion operations per second, for up to 15x faster machine learning performance.
- Tasks like video analysis, voice recognition and image processing will have a level of performance never seen before on the Mac.
- Wake from sleep instantly.
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