Wednesday, December 2

Apple M1: what the first Mac computers with self-designed processors look like (and why they mean to Intel)

A new stage opens at Apple and in the computer industry.

The apple company has revealed their first Mac computers with chips ddesign own.

In June, the company announced that it would begin the process of moving away from the Intel processors it had been using since 2006.

Apple said that among the advantages of using el chip M1, developed by the company itself, is the availability of a longer battery life, the ability of computers to instantly wake up from sleep mode (sleep mode) and running iOS system applications.

The company also added that it had optimized all its own applications for the Mac, but now needs to convince other developers to do the same.

The new computers that include the new Apple M1 are:

  • 13in (33cm) MacBook Air, which no longer requires a fan to keep your processor at the right temperature.
  • 13in MacBook Pro, which Apple said can now play video for 20 hours on just one battery charge, twice as much as before. This keeps your fan.
  • Mac Mini compact for dessert.

Apple’s website indicates that this will be the only type of MacBook Air it will sell as of now, but will continue to offer the other two machines with Intel chips.

Macbook Air (left) Mac mini
Externally, there is little that distinguishes new computers from old ones. (Photo: Apple)

The famous signature did not reveal new versions of iMac or Mac Pro computers, suggesting that Apple may be waiting for more advanced versions of the chip, with more memory and greater graphics processing power to use on them.

The new Macs They will go on sale next week. They will have the MacOS Big Sur operating system incorporated, which will be made available to Macs with Intel technology this Thursday.


Apple assured that the M1 can offer the maximum performance of the chips “more recent of other portable computers” but with lower consumption, only using a quarter of energy; or offer twice the performance of the CPU.

But one downside is that Macs now only come with a maximum of 16 gigabytes of RAM.

That’s half the RAM offered by the Intel-based MacBook Pro and a quarter the equivalent of the Mini. Video editing programs and video games are among the applications that usually benefit from having more memory.

New MacBook Pro
Apple suggests that the fact that new computers can run both Mac and iOS apps provides them with the greatest variety to date. (Photo: Apple)

It is sometimes referenced that Apple chips are based in architecture ARM because it licenses the set of instructions – which determine how the processors handle the commands – from the British company ARM.

But the core of the central processor is designed by the famous company of the bitten apple.

An advantage is that Apple has control over which accelerators to include, that is, special sections that specialize in managing certain tasks, such as cryptography or machine learning.

It also allows you integrate memory and other functionalities in one package, instead of using other specialized chips, which would improve performance.

“The transition to Apple Silicon – the new processor – allows Apple to achieve the same level of integration that we have seen with iOS and iPadOS, where the user has the benefit of having an operating system and an ecosystem of applications that are optimized for Silicon ”, Explains Carolina Milanesi, from Creative Strategies consultancy.

Another advantage is that iPhone and iPad applications can be run on the processor, although they may require a redesign of the user interface to function without a touch screen.

The downside is that existing applications, designed for Intel processors, they will need to be executed by emulation.

Apple suggests that its Rosetta 2 emulator will be able to translate these on the fly without a problem, but how fast the software runs will depend on whether developers take the time to update their products to work in native mode.

Logo de Apple M1.
A new era opens for Apple and for the industry with the M1. (Photo: EPA)

Despite recent tensions with the developer community, some experts predict that most consumer apps will be adapted soon, but warn that the situation may be very different for some specialized programs.

“Apple is one of the top five players in the computer market, but it faces to a problem in the business market, because there their share is only 5%, ”says Gartner’s Annette Jump.

“And it could be a lot more difficult to convince software makers focused on that industry to start developing their products for the new Macs.”

Apple has said that Adobe would feature a native version of Photoshop next year, and that the Omni Group would also release universal versions of its productivity software.

But there was no mention of Microsoft Office apps or a possible way to run Windows 10 in native mode.

Consequences for the industry?

Microsoft has also worked hard to get Windows to work with Qualcomm’s ARM-based chips, which were also originally designed for mobile phones.

It launched one of these devices, the Surface Pro X, earlier this year, taking advantage of the low-power processor to produce its model. “more delgadotill the date.

Surface Pro X
The Surface Pro X advertises itself with a 15-hour battery life. (Photo: Microsoft)

But for now, most of the sales of Windows computers remain dependent on Intel technology, despite speculation that the new Macs could have Collateral damage in the industry.

“Apple’s measures will help validate ARM-based chips for personal computing and even as data centers, meaning the entire ARM ecosystem will benefit,” said Ben Wood of CCS Insight.

“That, more than the loss of business from Macs, is Intel’s long-term concern.”

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