Apple’s first Mac-focused silicon is called the M1

Apple has been making its own silicon for some time now. A decade in fact, but that silicon has been created for its smartphones, tablets and wearables. Now the Mac lineup has gotten some love with the newly debuted Apple M1 system-on-chip (SoC).

This new silicon has been a long time coming, and follows Apple’s announcement at WWDC earlier in the year that its latest offering would see the light of day before the end of 2020.

True to their word, Tim Apple and co. have debuted said silicon, and it has already been used to run three different iterations of Mac devices.

Apple is touting it as one of its biggest breakthroughs yet, with the M1 built on a 5nm architecture, similar to what we’ve seen on their new chip for the iPhone 12 lineup. As such a similar mix of CPU, GPU and Neural Engine are present on the SoC, and Apple is claiming a number of improvements across the board compared to PC-specific offerings.

“It features the world’s fastest CPU core in low-power silicon, the world’s best CPU performance per watt, the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and breakthrough machine learning performance with the Apple Neural Engine,” says the company in a press release about the announcement.

“As a result, M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning, all while enabling battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs. With its profound increase in performance and efficiency, M1 delivers the biggest leap ever for the Mac,” it adds.

Along with the jumps in performance, Apple is also touting the new silicon as being a perfect companion for macOS Big Sur, which is expected to start rolling out to users from this week Thursday onwards.

Added to this is much of the machine learning that it is said to empower.

“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,” the company explains.

The M1 is just the start for Apple and its silicon, with the company noting that the next few years will see big strides being made on this front.

As such, it will prove interesting to see how the M1 performs in real life compared to the latest silicon from other manufacturers.


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