The MacBook Air Pro is equipped with the M1 chip
It completed the ecological closed loop of hardware and software together with its Mac OS Big Sur operating system. The test data of the M1 version of the Mac even exceeds that of many high-end Intel products. Developer Erik Engheim recently shared an in-depth analysis of the M1 chip, revealing why the M1 chip is faster than some high-end Intel processors.
First of all
The M1 chip is not an ordinary processor, as Apple said, it is a system-on-chip, that is a series of chips are placed in a silicon package. Apple-designed the M1 System-on-Chip (SoC).
This chip uses a 5-nanometer process technology. The CPU, GPU, and cache are integrated. It contains 16 billion transistors. An 8-core CPU and an 8-core are fully integrated on an M1 chip. GPU (7-core in some MacBook Air models), 16-core neural network engine, M1’s integrated graphics card uses up to 8 cores, can run nearly 25,000 threads simultaneously, and has data processing of 2.6 trillion floating-point operations per second ability.
Intel and AMD also have multiple microprocessors in a single package
But Apple has the advantage, because Apple does not focus on general-purpose CPU cores like its competitors, but on dedicated chips that handle specialized tasks.
In layman’s terms, the M1 chip can play the strongest performance in Apple’s ecosystem.
In addition to the CPU (with high-performance and high-efficiency cores) and GPU, M1 also has a neural engine for processing machine learning tasks such as speech recognition and camera processing. Built-in video decoder, encoder for the energy-efficient conversion of video files.
The security encryptor is used to process encryption, the digital signal processor is used to process mathematically intensive functions such as decompressing music files, and the image processing unit speeds up the tasks done by image processing applications.
It is worth mentioning that the M1 chip also has a new unified memory architecture that allows the CPU, GPU, and other cores to exchange information with each other. Through the unified memory, the CPU and GPU can access the memory at the same time, instead of in one area and another, Copy data between regions. Access to the same memory pool without copying speeds up information exchange, and improves overall performance.
All of these chips with specific uses can speed up specific tasks. This is the main reason why many images and video clips with the M1 version of the Mac are obviously faster.
Many tasks that users do can be run directly on dedicated hardware. This is why even the entry-level M1 version of the Mac Mini can easily encode large video files, while the high-end iMac is still very difficult even if the fans are full.
This transformation of Apple is very thorough, dedicated chips do specific tasks, this is the general direction of the future PC. However, for Intel and AMD, this road is not easy. They still sell general-purpose CPUs. For licensing reasons, PC manufacturers such as Dell and HP may not be able to design a complete SoC in-house like Apple.
Apple’s biggest advantage
Is that Apple can integrate hardware and software, which most other companies cannot replicate. This is where the iPhone and iPad have advantages over other smartphones and tablets.
Due to the limitations of the CISC instruction set and their business model, it is not easy for Intel and AMD to create end-to-end chip solutions for PC manufacturers.
Of course, this is not a complete denial of Intel and AMD, nor does it mean that the Intel version of the MacBook Pro being sold is slow. What’s important is that the M1 represents Apple’s vision for the core of the future notebook.