Apple is dumping Intel CPUs from Macintosh. On Tuesday, Apple announced the new M1, the most powerful chip it has ever created and the first chip designed specifically for the Mac.
M1 is optimized for Mac systems in which small size and power efficiency are critically important. As a system on a chip (SoC), M1 combines numerous powerful technologies into a single chip, and features a unified memory architecture for dramatically improved performance and efficiency. M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology and is packed with an astounding 16 billion transistors, the most Apple has ever put into a chip. 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. 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.
Tuesday’s announcement marks the end of a 15-year run where Intel processors powered Apple’s laptops and desktops, and a big shift for the semiconductor industry.
“Apple Silicon is totally in keeping with the strategic goal of Apple to really control an entire stack,” CCS Insight research director Wayne Lam said. “Now in computing, they own everything from silicon to the software to how the user moves the mouse around, so it’s tremendously integrated.”
“Five-nanometer is the leading edge of process technology right now and there are only a few products out at this point,” Gartner research director Jon Erensen said. Currently, Intel is shipping chips with 10-nanometer transistors… “Intel’s had some challenges over the last couple of years on the manufacturing side. And I think those challenges have opened a window or opportunity for ARM-based designs for come in. Apple is one of the the best ARM-based processor designers out there,” Erensen said.
It’s clear that the new Macs will have improved battery life… On the entry-level MacBook Air, Apple says that it can manage 15 hours of web browsing on one charge, nearly 30% more than the advertised 10 to 11 hour battery life of the previous Intel-based model.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple is dumping Intel, because Intel is overpriced, routinely late, stagnant, and woefully inefficient, not to mention that the upgrade to M1 establishes a common architecture across all Apple products, making it far easier for developers to write and optimize their apps for the entire ecosystem.