What is M1?

The M1 is the original silicon processor from Apple. Along with the Mac mini and MacBook Air, Apple released the M1 in November 2020.

Apple created and produced the M1 processor, in contrast to earlier Mac CPUs. Instead of the Intel "x86" architecture, it is ARM-based, using a design akin to the "A-series" processors found in iPhones and iPads. The M1 is also a System on a Circuit (SoC), which includes a variety of CPUs. In addition to the Processor, the M1 has computing units that are "high-efficiency," a GPU, a neural engine, a media engine, and neural processing.

The M1 not only has a variety of CPU kinds, but the majority of them are multi-core as well. These are the M1 processor's specifications:

  • CPU: 8-core (4 high-performance cores running at a 3.2 GHz clock speed + 4 high-efficiency cores)
  • Transistors: 16 billion (5 nm)
  • L2 Cache : 12 MB per performance core; 4 MB per efficiency core
  • GPU: 8-core (7-core on the low-end model)
  • Neural Engine: 6-core (for AI and ML computations)
  • RAM: 8 or 16 GB of unified (integrated) memory

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