Apple this week announced M1, the most powerful chip it has ever created and the first chip designed specifically for the Mac. Now, Apple’s hardware, software and marketing chiefs have spoken with The Independent to explain how the company’s new M1 processor came to exist.
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.
Apple really wants you to know that it loves the Mac just how it is. Or perhaps more accurately, as embodied in its latest computers: just how it is, but a lot, lot faster.
The company’s representatives kept stressing that fact throughout the announcement of the M1 and the three new computers that have it inside: they love the Mac, and they love these Macs. Soon after that event finished, some of Apple’s most senior executives – marketing chief Greg ‘Joz’ Joswiak, software boss Craig Federighi, hardware engineering leader John Ternus – spoke with The Independent to explain exactly why.
Usually, a major advance in computing performance might add 20 or 30 per cent faster processing speed – but the new computers multiply that number by 10, with numbers showing that the computers as much as three times more powerful generally and up to 11 times faster at some tasks.
That might sound fairly unbelievable. Apple knows this, since it wasn’t actually expecting these computers to be quite such a step up: even when he got his hands on the new computers, Joz says he “couldn’t believe it”.
Ternus says that as momentum built, it became more clear that the chip was doing things they hadn’t expected. “This was just building momentum within the teams who were so passionate and excited about this product that they just wanted to keep pushing, keep optimising: ‘How much better can we make it? How much better we can make it?’”
Again, that might sound like wild hype, and Federighi knows it. “We are so eager for everyone to get these in their hands and have the same experience that we all had because I think it will speak for itself but we are legitimately positively surprised with the outcome of our work, and really happy we’re able to give this to customers,” he says.
MacDailyNews Take: The very first Apple silicon (M1) Macs trounce Intel in benchmarks, real world performance, and battery life.
As we’ve said:
Intel no longer leads. They haven’t for years now. This move by Apple will merely spotlight that obvious fact.
Apple-designed ARM-based Macs will trounce Intel in benchmarks and real world performance and battery life.
We’ve been anticipating ARM-powered Macs for quite a long time now and we can’t for the the process to begin! – MacDailyNews, June 20, 2020
Intel is well-past its glory days. Today, Intel’s claim to fame – besides not being able to make modem chips very well – is peddling inefficient, embarrassing, fatally-flawed junk. — MacDailyNews, May 15, 2019
Apple has been, for years, building strength in the enterprise via BYOD and the rise of mobile which Apple ushered in with iPhone and iPad. “Compatibility with Windows” is not nearly as important today as it was even a few years ago… We expect to see Apple begin the ARM-based Mac transition with products like the MacBook and work their way up from there as the apps are brought over to ARM via Xcode and as the rest of the world continues to throw off the Microsoft Windows shackles into which they stupidly climbed so many years ago, lured, wrongly, solely by Windows PC sticker prices. – MacDailyNews, June 19, 2019
Think code convergence (more so than today) with UI modifications per device. A unified underlying codebase for Intel, Apple A-series, and, in Apple’s labs, likely other chips, too (just in case). This would allow for a single App Store for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users that features a mix of apps: Some that are touch-only, some that are Mac-only, and some that are universal (can run on both traditional notebooks and desktops as well as on multi-touch computers like iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and – pretty please, Apple – Apple TV). Don’t be surprised to see Apple A-series-powered Macs, either. — MacDailyNews Take, January 9, 2014