A chip on its shoulders —
Apple claims 8-core SoC offers world’s best performance per watt.
Apple’s “One More Thing” event is all about Macs. Here’s the scoop on Apple’s latest chip, the M1, which is the first ARM-based computer chip the company is making in-house.
It’s also the first chip built on a 5nm process with 16 billion transistors. Optimized for Apple’s lower-power systems for minimal size and maximum efficiency, there are four performance cores and four efficiency cores in the CPU, which Apple says make for the “highest performance CPU ever created.” Pound for pound, it has the highest CPU performance per watt, which was noted as being equivalent to a dual-core Macbook Air with less power.
The integrated graphics card has eight cores and can process up to 2.6 teraflops, making it the world’s fastest integrated graphics chip. With the 16-core neural engine, which is capable of 11 trillion processes per second, Apple says apps like Garage Band can handle three times more instruments and effect plugins, while Final Cut Pro, for instance, can render complex timelines up to six-times faster.
Speaking of first-party programs, all of them have been optimized for the M1 chip. Third-party apps that originally ran on Intel chips and have yet to be optimized for the M1 can still run through Universal Apps, which uses Rosetta 2 to translate them. Some of these apps, Apple claims, run better through this process than they did on their original Intel platforms. Apple is also enabling users to run iPad and iPhone apps on Macs, growing the compatible programs for Mac users significantly.
This is a developing story. Follow our liveblog for this event here.