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Apple deploys own chip in next-generation Macs

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The 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip.

Apple has introduced a new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini powered by the M1, the first in a family of chips designed by Apple specifically for the Mac.

In a statement, the company says by far the most powerful chip Apple has ever made, the M1 transforms the Mac experience.

The move to the in-house M1 chip marks Apple’s shift away from chips made by Intel, which the company had relied on over the past 15 years.

Apple says with its performance per watt, together with macOS Big Sur, the M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster central processing unit (CPU), up to 6x faster graphics processing unit (GPU), up to 15x faster machine learning (ML) capabilities, and battery life up to 2x longer than before.

Apple adds that with the M1 and Big Sur, users get access to the biggest collection of apps to date for Mac.

“The introduction of three new Macs featuring Apple’s breakthrough M1 chip represents a bold change that was years in the making, and marks a truly historic day for the Mac and for Apple,” says Tim Cook, Apple CEO.

“The M1 is by far the most powerful chip we’ve ever created, and combined with Big Sur, delivers mind-blowing performance, extraordinary battery life, and access to more software and apps than ever before. We can’t wait for our customers to experience this new generation of Mac, and we have no doubt it will help them continue to change the world.”

The company notes the MacBook Air is Apple’s most popular Mac and the world’s best-selling 13-inch notebook.

It adds that the 8-core CPU performs up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation. With up to an 8-core GPU, graphics are up to 5x faster, the biggest leap for MacBook Air, and graphics-intensive games run at significantly higher frame rates, it says.

“ML workloads are up to 9x faster, so apps that use ML-based features like face recognition or object detection can do so in a fraction of the time.”

According to Apple, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s most popular pro notebook.

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