Apple Announces The Apple Silicon M1: Ditching x86 – What to Expect, Based on A14

See the original posting on Anandtech

Today, Apple has unveiled their brand-new MacBook line-up. This isn’t an ordinary release – if anything, the step that Apple is making today is something that hasn’t happened in 15 years: The start of a CPU architecture transition across their whole consumer Mac line-up.

Thanks to the company’s vertical integration across hardware and software, this is a monumental change that nobody but Apple can so swiftly usher in. The last time Apple ventured into such an undertaking in 2006, the company had ditched IBM’s PowerPC ISA and processors in favour of Intel x86 designs. Today, Intel is being ditched in favour of the company’s own in-house processors and CPU microarchitectures, built upon the ARM ISA.

The new processor is called the Apple M1, the company’s first SoC design for Macs. With four large performance cores, four efficiency cores, and an 8-GPU core GPU it features 16 billion transistors on the new 5nm process node. Apple’s is starting a new SoC naming scheme for this new family of processors, but at least on paper it does look at lot like an A14X.

Today’s event contained a whole ton of new official announcement, but also lacked (in typical Apple fashion) in detail. Today, we’re doing to be dissecting the new Apple M1 news, as well as doing an microarchitectural deep dive based on the already released Apple A14 SoC.