Apple M1: The Processor Apple Integrated into its New Macs

The transition from Apple and its Macs has begun, and it has done so with a new chip, the Apple M1. This will be the first of the chip’s family that will be integrated into Apple computers in the future, and that poses significant changes from the Intel processors that were used so far in their laptops and desktops.

The Apple M1 is, according to Apple, a processor that provides “a giant leap” in the field of performance per watt. Manufactured with 5-nanometer technology, this chip with 16,000 million transistors will be the heart of the first Macs to make that major leap to ARM architecture.

Eight Cores Controls them All

Apple M1

At Apple, they explained how many of the components of the motherboard of their MacBook or iMac are now encapsulated in this new SoC which, thanks to the 5-nanometer lithographic process, allows everything to be integrated into that diode.

Apple M1

At Apple, they talked about how in the design of this processor they used a unified memory architecture with high bandwidth and low latency. This architecture allows the different elements of the computer to have access to this crucial component so that all kinds of processes can be executed perfectly.

These Apple M1 will have eight cores, four of which are “high efficiency” and another four “high performance”. The four most efficient cores also appear to be quite powerful, and although they did not indicate details of the comparison, they did reveal that they are as powerful as the current MacBook Air dual-core processors.

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More Performance Per Watt than Ever

Apple M1

The performance per watt is the metric that has been referred to the most in this presentation of the Apple M1. In their internal analysis, the Apple M1’s performance per watt leaves the latest available laptop chips far behind, although none of these charts specified which processors this comparison had been made with.

For Apple, the improvements in performance per watt had been marginal in the x86 architecture in recent years, and they claimed that their new chips offer twice the performance of the most powerful traditional laptop chips, and do so with a consumption that is a third of those chips.

Apple M1

Apple’s offer is huge: getting a notebook processor that is twice as powerful at a fraction of the consumer guarantees that we will be able to do more and better everything we do on a computer and also extend battery life.

The Apple M1 promises performances of 2.6 TFLOPS, a remarkable performance that will be interesting to compare with Intel and AMD processors of the last generation. Here Apple stated that the M1 makes the computers that use it “faster than 98% of laptops sold today”.

These improvements in general-purpose computing are joined by its improvements in the area of automatic learning (machine learning) thanks to the Neural Engine integrated with 16 cores and capable of processing 11 billion operations per second.

Apple M1

The GPU is also part of this total renovation: it has eight cores and they describe it as “the most advanced graphics processor we have ever created”, although without giving too many details about the performance we can expect in games.

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This processor will also have hardware decoding engines for multimedia content and, importantly, support for Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4, something that ensures what kind of ports we will find in the new Mac.

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