Apple revealed its latest custom-built M1 chip processor, with the latest Macbook’s and Mac Mini’s dawning the next-generation piece of hardware underneath the hood which some have called an innovative and bold move that will help drive competition in the chip market.
Apart from Apple opting for its new M1 chip and leaving behind its usual supplier Intel, industry analysts see this as an opportunity that could present limitless possibilities for other companies that wish to join the chip market too.
The bold move will also most likely cause an uproar in the chipmaker industry that would see monopolistic brands lower not only their prices but also allow other new entrants to take part in the race that has been so closely dominated by the likes of AMD, Qualcomm and Intel alike.
However, even though the chip industry has been a tug of war, what has picked most people’s interest is what the Apple M1 chip is really capable of and what it present’s for its future products as we get to see faster, smaller, and more efficient chips join Apple’s product line in the next few years.
According to the American tech giant, the M1 is their ‘first chip designed specifically for Mac’, as it delivers incredible performance, custom technologies, and revolutionary power efficiency.
Apple adds: ‘The M1 was designed from the very start to work with the most advanced desktop operating system in the world, macOS Big Sur. With a giant leap in performance per watt, every Mac with M1 is transformed into a completely different class of product. This isn’t an upgrade. It’s a breakthrough.’
For several years, a Mac needed multiple chips to deliver all of its features — including the processor, I/O, security, and memory but now, with the M1, it’s an all-new game changer as it has combined all the technologies into a single system on a chip (SoC), delivering a new level of integration for more simplicity, more efficiency, and amazing performance.
The chip also packs the largest number of transistors the company has ever put into a single chip – making it the first personal computer chip built using industry‑leading 5‑nanometer process technology.
Apple M1 processor considered a huge leap that puts a spotlight on Intel’s chip challenges
The new MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros and Mac Minis are going to be using the M1 chip, with other products in the near future expected to let go of the Intel chips, which is said will last for about two years as Apple completely ejects the California based company tech from its personal computers.
Even though Apple leaving Intel could seem a big threat to their business, it’s not necessarily so. “There isn’t much near-term threat to Intel’s PC business beyond losing one sizable customer,” said Linley Group analyst Linley Gwennap.
According to Intel’s recent statement, it’s “relentlessly” focused on building leading chips. “We welcome competition because it makes us better,” it said. “We believe that there is a lot of innovation that only Intel can do,” including supplying chips that span the full price range of PCs and that can run older software still common in businesses.
Apart from Intel, Qualcomm also sees Apple’s M1 as a threat since it’s considered to be within the mobile chip category, a market that Qualcomm has dominated for a while now with its mobile-based processors for PCs.
Apple’s chip is also a member of the Arm family of processors that are used in every smartphone today not forgetting that Qualcomm is a leading designer in that segment when it comes to Android phone makers, bringing to table more-powerful designs such as its Snapdragon chips for PCs.
How Apple’s bold move into the chip market influences the future is yet to be determined given the fact that we have the likes of AMD kicking doors with its powerful Zen 3 and Ryzen processors too, and also considered a threat to Nvidia and Intel alike.
During the new Mac launch event, Apple emphasized the performance per watt advantages of the M1 which it has greatly improved in the A series of processors that power its iPhones since smartphone chips tend to have stronger battery constraints than laptop chips.
With the M1, a close relative of the iPhone 12’s A14, Apple gets to add more transistor circuitry for more processing power and can run the chip at a higher clock speed than in phones says CNet’s Stephen Shankland.
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Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.