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Apple's self-developed MAC chip M1 details: performance and energy efficiency doubled, far better than Intel processor

via:驱动之家     time:2020/11/11 23:11:17     readed:2121

Apple officially unveiled its first self-made chip for Mac computers, which it announced earlier, in the early hours of November 11, Beijing time

At the same time, Apple also launched three products with M1 chip, which are the new generation entry-level notebook MacBook Air, the new high-end notebook MacBook Pro, and the new mini desktop Mac Mini. The starting prices of the three products are 7999 yuan, 9999 yuan and 5299 yuan respectively. They have been ordered and will be delivered next week.

At the WWDC 2020 conference in June this year, apple officially announced that it would launch a new self-developed chip based on ARM architecture for its MAC products, and gradually replace the Intel processor with x86 architecture within two years.

So let's take a look at how powerful Apple's first custom chip M1 for Macs is.


16 billion transistors

First of all, Apple's M1 chip does not seem to be a simple upgrade version of A14. Although it is based on TSMC's 5nm process, M1 has up to 16 billion transistors, which is about 35.6% higher than the 11.8 billion transistors of the previous A14, and higher than the 15.3 billion transistor of Kirin 9000.

8-core CPU: better performance and energy efficiency than Intel x86 CPU

In the CPU part, M1 chip integrates eight cores, including four high-performance large cores and four high-efficiency small cores. However, the main frequency has not been released. It is officially said that the eight CPU cores can be mixed to assist in multithreading tasks. The previous A14 had only two high-performance cores.

Apple also said that its M1 core is the most powerful core at present, and its performance is 3.5 times higher than the previous generation of MacBook Air Based on Intel processor, which can bring extremely strong performance and perform well in many application scenarios.

So how does Apple achieve its M1 chip's huge improvement in Cup performance?

As we all know, apple is one of the few smart phone manufacturers with the ability to independently design mobile processors based on ARM instruction set. Even after Samsung launched several generations of self-developed mongoose CPU core, it finally gave up. It can be said that Apple's technical strength is even stronger than that of Qualcomm in self-developed mobile CPU core.

As early as 2013, Apple launched the world's first 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set-based mobile processo


The CPU core of Apple's A7 was Apple's own

The big core CPU of Apple's A14 processor this year is entirely new, according to Anandtech reports


AnandTech, after analyzing the internal structure of the M1 chip released by apple, thinks that the big core of Apple's M1 chip is still the firestorm microarchitecture. However, the secondary cache of the four firestorm cores of M1 has been upgraded to 12MB, compared with that of A14, which has only 8MB of secondary cache. In addition, the icestorm small core of M1 may have been modified greatly.



Internal structure of △ Apple M1


Internal structure of Apple A14

Apple said the M1 small core, while ensuring basic performance, consumes only one tenth of the previous generation's, and can efficiently handle lightweight tasks.

The cooperation of large and small cores not only ensures the overall CPU performance, but also provides excellent energy efficiency ratio. According to apple, the M1 chip's CPU energy efficiency ratio is three times higher than that of its MAC products in 2012.


According to the PPT displayed by apple, M1 chip can provide more than twice the CPU performance of traditional x86 notebook processor under the power limit of 10W.


8-core GPU, twice the performance of the competitor

As early as 2017, Apple announced that it would stop using imagination's GPU in the next two years and use its own GPU instead. However, in the next few years, Apple's progress in self-developed GPU did not seem to be smooth. Maybe there were problems in R & D, or it was difficult to avoid the patents related to imagination. In January this year, apple and imagination reached a new multi-year patent licensing agreement. In this context, the GPU performance of the new M1 chip is also worth looking forward to.

Apple M1 is equipped with an 8-core GPU, which is twice as many as A14's GPU. With the support of 5nm technology, apple said that M1's GPU takes into account both performance and energy efficiency, and may be the world's strongest set display. There is no pressure to clip or play multiple full quality 4K video streams.

According to the data released by apple, under the same power consumption, the GPU performance of M1 is twice that of other latest notebook chips, while under the same power consumption, the power consumption of M1 is only one third of that of other notebook chips.


16 core NPU, computing power 11tops

Apple M1 chip also integrates the same 16 core neural network processor (NPU) as A14, but its computing power is only 11tops, compared with the computing power of A14 NPU reaching 11.8 tops. I don't know what kind of consideration apple is in, which reduces the computing power of M1 NPU? However, this can be made up for by the significant improvement of CPU and GPU performance.

Apple said that thanks to the powerful AI computing power of M1, products with M1 chip can easily identify family and friends in photos and videos, understand natural voice for dictation, and even identify laughter and applause by analyzing audio.

16 GB DRAM on chip

In addition, M1 chip also has built-in 16GB unified on-chip memory architecture with high bandwidth and low latency, which enables various applications to efficiently share data among CPU, GPU and NPU, without having to read from external memory chips, so as to process various tasks more quickly.


M1 processor, MAC product performance and endurance doubled

Specifically, apple said that the CPU performance of the new MacBook Air equipped with M1 is 3.5 times higher than that of the previous generation of MacBook Air Based on Intel processing, GPU increased by 5 times, and machine learning performance improved by 9 times. Apple says its overall performance exceeds 98% of PC laptops.

The new Mac Mini based on M1 chip, compared with the previous generation of Intel based mac mini, improves CPU performance by 3 times, GPU performance by 6 times, and machine learning performance by 15 times. Overall performance is five times higher than other best-selling PCs, but only one tenth of their size.

In terms of running points, according to geekbench 5 scores of devices suspected to be equipped with M1 processor exposed on the Internet before, the single core benchmark score of M1 was 1634, and the score of multi-core benchmark test was 7220. For comparison, A14 single core benchmark score is 1583, multi-core benchmark score is 4198; 16 inch MacBook Pro equipped with Intel Core i9 processor has a single core benchmark score of 1096 and a multi-core benchmark score of 6869. Judging from the running results, the performance of M1 has surpassed that of Intel Core i9 (core i9-9880) processor.

In terms of performance improvement of specific applications, apple said that the new MacBook Air equipped with M1 chip has significantly improved the performance of professional productivity software such as final cut pro, Xcode, logic pro and adobe Lightroom.

For example, the transcoding speed of Final Cut Pro is increased by 3.9 times;


Xcode's project construction speed increased by 3.6 times;


The number of AMP designer plug-ins in logic Pro can be increased to 2.5 times;


Adobe Lightroom has the fastest image export speed of 2.3 times.


Craig federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, also said that the M1 based MAC can run JavaScript 1.5 times faster and respond 1.0 times faster.

In terms of battery life, the battery life of M1 is twice as long as that of the previous generation MacBook due to its high energy efficiency. Apple said the new MacBook Air can last up to 18 hours, and the new MacBook Pro 13 has a record breaking 20 hours. It can make the mobile office time more durable when the user is not connected to the power supply. In addition, the higher chip energy consumption ratio also means that the same performance will bring lower heat consumption. Therefore, the new MacBook Air can return to fan free design again, achieving both high performance and low noise.

Unification of software and hardware

Apple has been promoting cross platform integration of software and hardware since the first iPhone 4 with its own chip. Previously, iPhone, iPad, apple watch and other products are based on ARM architecture, apple self-developed chip, and Apple's own system. But on Apple's Macs, Intel processors based on x86 architecture are still used. Because of the differences in the underlying hardware, Apple has also split in the system software ecology. There is a set of hardware and software system on mobile devices, and a set of hardware and software systems on MAC products.

With the introduction of Apple's self-developed MAC chip, Apple's overall integration of software and hardware will be further improved. Apple's iPhone, iPad, MAC and other products will be based on the same arm chip architecture, so that the peripheral hardware ecology can be shared. More importantly, this will thoroughly open the system software ecology of iPhone, iPad and MAC, and running iPhone and iPad software on MAC computers at the same time will no longer be a problem.

At WWDC 2020, apple said that developers can also use IOS and iPad OS applications on MAC products based on their own processors without any modification. The new Mac OS Big Sur system has been able to smoothly and seamlessly transition to Apple Mac chips.

Apple also provides a series of tools to make it easier for developers to adapt the MAC applications that originally run on the Intel chip of x86 architecture to Apple's self-developed MAC processor. For example, universal 2, which can help developers build applications that can run on both x86 and arm architecture chips, can automatically translate instructions written for Intel processors into instructions that can be understood by Apple's arm chips, so that Apple's arm chips can directly run Rosetta 2, the original X86 platform application.

At today's press conference, apple said that currently, MAC products based on M1 chip can run a variety of apple native applications. M1 chip will also support Lightroom next month and Photoshop next year. All applications run smoothly on M1 chip, and the rendering effect is excellent.

It can be predicted that with the smooth launch of M1 and its successful application in MAC products, Apple's plan to replace Intel's x86 processor with self-developed MAC chips may speed up further, and the replacement may be completed in less than two years. After all, with Apple's strong shipping capacity, the cost of self-developed MAC chips is much lower than the cost of purchasing Intel processors.



#Apple#Mac#Apple M1

Link to the original text:Smart news

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