Apple M1

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc. as a central processing unit (CPU) for its line of Macintosh computers.[3] It is deployed in the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), Mac mini (M1, 2020), and the MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020).[4] It is the first personal computer chip built using a 5 nm process. Apple claims that it has the world's fastest CPU core "in low power silicon" and the world's best CPU performance per watt.[3][5]

Apple M1
Illustration of an M1 processor
General information
LaunchedNovember 17, 2020[1]
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer(s)
Product codeAPL1102[2]
Max. CPU clock rate3.2 GHz[1]
L2 cache12 MB (performance cores)
4 MB (efficient cores)
Architecture and classification
ApplicationDesktop (Mac Mini), Notebook (MacBook family)
Min. feature size5 nm
Microarchitecture"Firestorm" and "Icestorm"[1]
Instruction setAArch64; ARMv8-A
Physical specifications
  • 16 billion
  • 8 (4× high-performance + 4× high-efficiency)
GPU(s)Apple-designed 8 core


The M1 has four high-performance "Firestorm" and four energy-efficient "Icestorm" cores, providing a configuration similar to ARM big.LITTLE and Intel's Lakefield processors.[6] This combination allows power-use optimizations not possible with Apple–Intel architecture devices. Apple claims the energy-efficient cores use one tenth the power of the high-performance ones. The high-performance cores have 192 KB of instruction cache and 128 KB of data cache and share a 12 MB L2 cache; the energy-efficient cores have a 128 KB instruction cache, 64 KB data cache, and a shared 4 MB L2 cache. The Icestorm "E cluster" has a frequency of 0.6–2.064 GHz and a maximum power consumption of 1.3 W. The Firestorm "P cluster" has a frequency of 0.6–3.204 GHz and a maximum power consumption of 13.8 W.[7]

Rosetta 2 dynamic binary translation technology enables M1-equipped products to run software built for Intel x86 CPUs.

The M1 uses 4266 MT/s LPDDR4X SDRAM[8] in a unified memory configuration shared by all the components of the processor. The SoC and RAM chips are mounted together in a system-in-a-package design. 8 GB and 16 GB configurations are available.

The M1 integrates an Apple-designed eight-core (seven in some models) graphics processing unit (GPU) which by Apple's claim could execute nearly 25,000 threads simultaneously and dedicated neural network hardware in a 16-core Neural Engine, capable of executing 11 trillion operations per second.[6] Other components include an image signal processor (ISP), NVMe storage and Thunderbolt 4 controllers and a Secure Enclave.

Products that include the Apple M1Edit


  1. ^ a b c Frumusanu, Andrei (November 17, 2020), The 2020 Mac Mini Unleashed: Putting Apple Silicon M1 To The Test, retrieved 2020-11-18
  2. ^ [Teardown] Late 2020 Mac mini: Apple Silicon M1, Thunderbolt..., retrieved 2020-11-18
  3. ^ a b "The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based chipset for Macs with the fastest CPU cores and top iGPU". Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  4. ^ "New MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini With Apple M1 SoC". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  5. ^ Sohail, Omar (2020-11-10). "Apple's 5nm M1 Chip Is the First for ARM-Based Macs - Boasts 2x More Performance Than Latest Laptop CPU, Uses One-Fourth the Power". Wccftech. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  6. ^ a b "Apple M1 Chip". Apple. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  7. ^ Panzarino, Matthew. "I noticed a lot of reviews getting confused by the CPU clock and what the specs were there, here's a live dump of what the Performance and Efficiency clusters are up to during a Cinebench R23 multithread bench". Twitter.
  8. ^ "M1 MacBook Air & Pro - EXCLUSIVE Apple Interview! | The Tech Chap - YouTube". Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  9. ^ "MacBook Air (M1, 2020) - Technical Specifications". Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  10. ^ "Mac mini (M1, 2020) - Technical specifications". Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  11. ^ "MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020) - Technical Specifications". Retrieved 2020-11-13.

External linksEdit