Over 35 years ago in 1984, Apple transformed personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh personal computer. Today, Apple is a world leader in innovation with phones, tablets, computers, watches and even TV. Now it seems Apple has dived headfirst into another technological innovation that may change computing as we know it. Introducing the Apple M1 chip. Recently, Apple announced the most powerful chip it has ever created, and the first chip designed specifically for its Mac product line. Boasting industry-leading performance, powerful features, and incredible efficiency, the M1 chip is optimized for Mac systems in which small size and power efficiency are critically important.
The First System on a Chip
If you haven’t heard of this before, you’re not alone. System on a chip (SoC) is fairly new. Traditionally, Macs and PCs have used numerous chips for the CPU, I/O, security, and more. However, SoC combines all of these technologies into a single chip, resulting in greater performance and power efficiency. M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology and is packed with an eyebrow raising 16 billion transistors. M1 also features a unified memory architecture that brings together high-bandwidth and low-latency memory into a custom package. This allows all of the technologies in the SoC to access the same data without copying it between multiple pools of memory, further improving performance and efficiency.
M1 Offers the World’s Best CPU Performance
Apple’s M1 chip includes an 8-core CPU consisting of four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. They are the world’s fastest CPU cores in low-power silicon, giving photographers the ability to edit high-resolution photos with rapid speed and developers to build apps almost 3x faster than before. The four high-efficiency cores provide exceptional performance at a tenth of the power. Single handedly, these four cores can deliver a similar output as the current-generation, dual-core MacBook Air, but at much lower power. They are the most efficient way to run lightweight, everyday tasks like checking email and surfing the web, simultaneously maintaining battery life better than ever. When all eight of the cores work together, they can deliver the world’s best CPU performance per watt.
The World’s Sharpest Unified Graphics
M1 incorporates Apple’s most advanced GPU, benefiting from years of evaluating Mac applications, from ordinary apps to demanding workloads. The M1 is truly in a league of its own with industry-leading performance and incredible efficiency. Highlighting up to eight powerful cores, the GPU can easily handle very demanding tasks, from effortless playback of multiple 4K video streams to building intricate 3D scenes. Having 2.6 teraflops of throughput, M1 has the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer.
Bringing the Apple Neural Engine to the Mac
Significantly increasing the speed of machine learning (ML) tasks, the M1 chip brings the Apple Neural Engine to the Mac. Featuring Apple’s most advanced 16-core architecture capable of 11 trillion operations per second, the Neural Engine in M1 enables up to 15x faster machine learning performance. With ML accelerators in the CPU and a powerful GPU, the M1 chip is intended to excel at machine learning. Common tasks like video analysis, voice recognition, and image processing will have a level of performance never seen before on the Mac.
M1 is Loaded with Innovative Technologies
The M1 chip is packed with several powerful custom technologies:
- Apple’s most recent image signal processor (ISP) for higher quality video with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto white balance.
- The modern Secure Enclave for best-in-class security.
- A high-performance storage controller with AES encryption hardware for quicker and more secure SSD performance.
- Low-power, highly efficient media encode and decode engines for great performance and prolonged battery life.
- An Apple-designed Thunderbolt controller with support for USB 4, transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, and compatibility with more peripherals than ever.