Apple M1

Apple M1
Illustration of an M1 processor
Apple M1 chip
General information
LaunchedNovember 10, 2020[1]
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
Product codeAPL1102[2]
Max. CPU clock rate3.2 GHz[1]
L1 cache192+128 KB per core (performance cores)
128+64 KB per core (efficient cores)
L2 cache12 MB (performance cores)
4 MB (efficient cores)
Architecture and classification
ApplicationDesktop (Mac Mini, iMac), Notebook (MacBook family), Tablet (iPad Pro)
Technology node5 nm
Microarchitecture"Firestorm" and "Icestorm"[1]
Instruction setARMv8.4-A
Physical specifications
  • 16 billion
  • 8 (4× high-performance + 4× high-efficiency)
GPU(s)Apple-designed integrated graphics (up to 8 cores)[3]
Products, models, variants
PredecessorIntel Core and Apple T2 chip (Mac)
Apple A12Z Bionic (iPad Pro)

The Apple M1 is an ARM-based system on a chip (SoC). It was designed by Apple Inc. as a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) for its Macintosh computers and iPad Pro tablets.[4] It also marks the first major change to the instruction set used by Macintosh computers since Apple switched Macs from PowerPC to Intel in 2006. Apple claims the chip has the world's fastest CPU core "in low power silicon" and the world's best CPU performance per watt.[4][5]

The M1 was released in November 2020, followed the next year by the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max versions. These differ largely in size and the number of functional units: for example, the original M1 has about 16 billion transistors; the largest M1 Max, 57 billion.

The M1 runs Apple's own macOS and iPadOS operating systems. Initial support for the M1 SoC in the Linux kernel was released on June 27, 2021, with version 5.13.[6]

The memory architecture makes the RAM not user-upgradeable; it is sold with 8 GB or 16 GB, which is shared among all compute units.

The initial versions contain an architectural defect permitting sandboxed applications to exchange data, violating the security model.[7]

  1. ^ a b c Frumusanu, Andrei (November 17, 2020), The 2020 Mac Mini Unleashed: Putting Apple Silicon M1 To The Test, archived from the original on 2021-02-01, retrieved 2020-11-18
  2. ^ [Teardown] Late 2020 Mac mini: Apple Silicon M1, Thunderbolt..., archived from the original on 2020-12-02, retrieved 2020-11-18
  3. ^ Apple's M1 Pro, M1 Max SoCs Investigated: New Performance and Efficiency Heights. Page 6, "GPU Performance: 2-4x For Productivity, Mixed Gaming"
  4. ^ a b "The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based chipset for Macs with the fastest CPU cores and top iGPU". Archived from the original on 2021-01-25. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  5. ^ Sohail, Omar (2020-11-10). "Apple's 5nm M1 Chip Is the First for ARM-Based Macs - Boasts 2x More Performance Than Latest Laptop CPU, Uses One-Fourth the Power". Wccftech. Archived from the original on 2021-01-26. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  6. ^ Adorno, José (2021-06-28). "Linux Kernel 5.13 officially launches with support for M1 Macs". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  7. ^ Goodin, Dan (2021-05-28). "Covert channel in Apple's M1 is mostly harmless, but it sure is interesting". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-11-18.

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