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mrtroutWhat You Need to Know About Apple’s New M1 Chip
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What You Need to Know About Apple’s New M1 Chip
Apple announces its first in-house Mac chip
Nov 10, 2020 19:16 GMT  ·  By Bogdan Popa  ·     

Apple has just announced its first in-house built chip that is specifically designed for the Mac and which the company claims is capable of delivering better performance than any PC processor.

Called M1, the system on a chip is built on a 5-nanometer process technology and features no more, no less than 16 billion transistors, and according to Apple, it’s capable of insane 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.”

M1 is an 8-core CPU that comprises four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, and each are used for various purposes, thus guaranteeing better performance and longer battery life. Of course, all 8 cores can work together with increased multithreaded performance.

Here’s a summary of the M1: 

    Built on 5-nanometer architecture
    16 billion transistors
    3.5x faster CPU performance than previous Macs
    6x faster GPU performance than older macs
    15x faster machine learning
    2x longer battery life than previous-generation Macs
    The world’s fastest integrated graphics
    Feature the latest Secure Enclave
    Uses the latest Apple image signal processor
    AES encryption thanks to new storage controller
    Media encode and decode engines built in
    Thunderbolt controller with support for USB 4
    Ready for macOS Big Sur

“M1 includes Apple’s most advanced GPU. It benefits from years of analysis of Mac applications, including everyday apps and challenging pro workloads. With industry-leading performance and incredible efficiency, the GPU in M1 is in a class by itself. Featuring up to eight powerful cores capable of running nearly 25,000 threads simultaneously, the GPU can handle extremely demanding tasks with ease, from smooth playback of multiple 4K video streams to rendering complex 3D scenes. With 2.6 teraflops of throughput, M1 has the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer,” Apple explains.

Data shared by Apple in a comparison with the latest PC laptop chip (though the company hasn’t specifically mentioned which PC chip it actually used for the comparison), shows that the M1 comes with noticeable improvements. As a result, the M1 is capable of offering 2x faster CPU performance and can deliver the same performance as the PC chip by just using 25 percent of the power.

In other words, the M1 chip is really battery efficient, so laptops featuring it should provide excellent battery life.

macOS Big Sur is the living proof in this regard, as the experience overall has been heavily optimized to put the M1 at the core of the entire experience. So everything is supposed to happen instantly, Apple says.

“macOS Big Sur is engineered, down to its core, to take full advantage of all the capability and power of M1, delivering a massive boost in performance, astonishing battery life, and even stronger security protections. With M1, things users do every day feel noticeably faster and smoother. Just like iPhone and iPad, the Mac now instantly wakes from sleep. Browsing with Safari — which is already the world’s fastest browser — is now up to 1.5x speedier at running JavaScript and nearly 2x more responsive,” Apple says.

The new M1 chip is available on the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the new Mac mini.
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