Meet M1: Apple’s very first, very own Mac chip

Apple M1 SoC chip

Yesterday Apple kicked off its “One More Thing” event and in an eerily empty building Steve Jobs and co. actually had a few more things to show us. One of them heralds a new era of Apple computers. Let’s take a look at M1, the very first chip designed specifically for the Mac.

The Macbook Air and Macbook Pro are known for their speed and power, but it looks like they’ve just gotten a significant boost. For years Apple had to “resort” (don’t hate I actually use a Windows 10 laptop) to Intel chips for its computers. That however is a thing of the past as the M1 chip will be taking over from now on.

Apple M1 chip Apple Silicon
John Ternus Apple VP Hardware Engineering / Image: Apple

First 5 nm process computer chip

It’s the first computer chip built using 5-nanometer process tech and is outfitted with an astonishing amount of transistors. How many you ask? A modest 16 billion, which is incidentally the most transistors the company has ever crammed into a chip.

During the presentation it became pretty clear that Apple is really really really proud of its latest achievement. And truth be told if the claims hold up, it is indeed an impressive feat. According to the tech giant we can expect 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance and up to 15x faster machine learning, while doubling the battery life compared to the Macs we’ve known so far.

Apple M1 chip
Image: Apple

Eight core CPU & GPU

De SoC comes with an 8-core CPU, consisting of 4 high-efficiency cores and 4 high-performance cores. It’s the highest-performance CPU Apple has ever built and as it happens, the M1 combines this with Apple’s most advanced GPU. The GPU features up to 8 cores, capable of running almost 15.000 threads simultaneously. The 2.6 teraflops of throughput gives M1 the world’s fasted integrated graphics in a personal computer, according to Apple. The new chip also brings the company’s Neural Engine to the Mac, which is the reason for the 15x faster machine learning performance.

Apple M1 chip
Image: Apple

Apple M1 vs. PC performance

Obviously these stunning specs had to be compared to PC performance. And if we have to believe the graphs M1 has up to 2x faster CPU performance and matches peak PC performance using only 25 percent of the power.

Apple M1 chip
Image: Apple

Looking at GPU performance vs. power, M1 seems to be twice as efficient compared to the latest PC laptop chip and matches PC peak performance with just one third of the power.

Apple M1
Image: Apple

So there you have it. The new chip definitely sounds very promising and might even lure away some PC users to the other side.

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