Although it might seem hard to believe, today is one year since the first Macs with Apple Silicon were revealed to the world.
Apple's custom-designed M1 chip was unveiled at a virtual event held on November 10, 2020. The chip is followed by three new Macs, including the MacBook Air and lower-end MacBook Pro 13-inch models, as well as the Mac mini.
Apple's M1 chip delivers on its promises of an industry-leading performance per Watt and faster integrated graphics than Intel processors.
Johny Srouji (head of Apple's chip design group), stated in a press release that M1 is the fastest low-power silicon processor core and integrated graphics in a personal computing device. He also noted the incredible machine learning performance of Apple Neural Engine. M1 is the most powerful chip we have ever made, thanks to its remarkable combination of performance, powerful features and efficiency.
Benchmarks quickly showed that the MacBook Air with M1 chip performed better than a 16-inch Intel-based MacBook Pro. The first Apple silicon Macs were overwhelmingly well-received for their performance.
Apple introduced the M1 chip in April to a 24-inch iMac, and it also unveiled M1 Pro and M1 Max chips last month for the 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pros.
Srouji stated that "Noone has applied a system on a chip design to a professional system until today with M1 Pro or M1 Max." M1 Pro and M1 Max are unique in the pro notebook market. They offer massive improvements in CPU and GPU performance and up to six times more memory bandwidth [compared with the M1 chip]. A new media engine with ProRes accelerators and other advanced technologies make M1 Pro and M1 Max even more Apple silicon.
Apple's only remaining Intel-based Macs are the 27-inch iMac, high-end Mac mini and Mac Pro tower. However, even those models will likely transition to Apple silicon in the coming year.
Wayne Ma, the Information's spokesperson, recently stated that the next Mac Pro will be using a M1 Max chip that has at least two dies to provide faster performance. He also suggested that an Apple silicon chip that could support up to 40 cores might be available in the future.
When asked last month if Intel had given up on the idea that the Mac would run on Intel processors in future, Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, said that he hopes to win this segment of Apple's market over time by making better chips. Intel has been running ads promoting Intel-based computers over Macs. It even hired Justin Long, an actor from Apple's famous "I'm a Mac", ads.
You can watch a replay of Apple's November 2020 event on Apple's website or on YouTube.