M1 is the new processor based on the Apple Silicon ARM architecture


Apple has long shown an express willingness to focus on self-built processors for its devices currently powered by Intel processors. The giant took advantage of this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference to announce the achievement of its processor development department, Apple Silicon, as it is known to produce the current processors for the iPhone and iPad.

It is above all interesting to see the trajectory of the Cupertino manufacturer when it bets on the production and realization of most of its products in the North American territory, aiming to depend as little as possible on third parties for its commercial operations, unlike the competition.

Note the case of Huawei struck by its alleged link with the Chinese state, but above all by the suspicions of espionage and trade restrictions imposed by the US administration which has led to a crisis situation, first from the ban on using Google services on Android and now, more recently, from the ban on importing components necessary for the production of the Hi-Silicion Kirin that powers the Chinese brand’s mobile phones.

The new processor has not been spared from bold statements in the face of the competition, especially due to its physical microcontroller characteristic that Apple claims to be the fastest laptop processor on the market and to be able to function similar to a desktop computer. Of course, we have to be a little skeptical of these claims, as we know the history of the brand, as well as most of the tech ones.

The Apple M1, based on the ARM architecture on a SoC-type micro-chip, allowed the North American brand Apple to include numerous components in one piece, reducing the overall size of the motherboard, increasing performance and latency (given short circuit duration and energy demand). As revealed, the new M1 includes the CPU, Cache memory, a GPU, the Neural Engine (responsible for AI-related activities) and DRAM.

The CPU uses ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration, which consists of using cheaper and slower processing cores and other energy-intensive cores, which enable the performance needed for demanding tasks, but greater energy savings for less tasks. challenging. Helping with processing, the GPU is capable of supporting 2.6 TFLOPs of FP32 power, as Apple says.

The SoC processor has the particularity that both the CPU and the GPU share the cache memory, which implies an overload of the microchip, given its physical limitations (small size). Given its small size, each set of cores can access 4 MB of L2 cache, with no information in the L3 cache. For example, the Intel Tiger-Lake, the Core i7-1160G7, is capable of accessing 12MB, more than what Apple got.

Based on the brand’s claims, Apple’s M1 graphics processing is the best in terms of integrated GPUs on the market. The processor also has support for Thunderbolt 4 technology, PCI Express Gen 4, and M.2 NVMe SSDs, among other benefits you can check out on the North American brand’s official website. But keep in mind that it’s possible that Apple’s first generation ARM processor for MacBook will be like any other first generation product, with reduced performance and some issues.

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