Apple announces M1, its first-ever Apple silicon chip

Apple New M1 Chip
Apple New M1 Chip (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has just announced its first-ever Apple silicon chip.
  • It is called the M1.
  • It houses 16 billion transistors and an 8-core CPU.

Apple has just announced its first-ever Apple silicon chip, the M1, at its November Apple event.

In a press release the company stated:

Apple today announced 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.

The M1 is expected to deliver a massive boost in performance per watt and is Apple's first-ever system-on-chip for Mac. It features Apple's GPU, T2, RAM, and CPU all in one system.

Like iPhone and iPad, it has a unified memory architecture and is built on a 5nm process.

It has 16 billion transistors, the most of an Apple chip. It boasts an 8-core CPU, the high-performance core of which is the world's fastest CPU core. Four of the M1's eight cores are high performance. The others are high efficiency, using a 10th of the power, whilst offering similar performance to the MacBook Air.

Apple says M1 is the fastest chip they've ever made and has the best performance-per-watt of any previous chip.

M1 also boasts the world's fastest integrated graphics, and a 16-core Neural Engine and Secure Enclave.

Apple's M1 chip will debut in the new Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9