Thoughts on Apple’s new M1

As usual, even in the most remote media you can find a piece of news that talks about Apple having presented computers with its new chip.

The vast majority will read it with the same interest that El Corte Inglés has decided to change its management system. Few will be aware that the news is more like one saying that Coca Cola has decided to change the formula of its syrup.

Because what Apple is looking for with the creation of the M1, the new generation of System on a chip (SoC) that it has developed, is for its computers to be the most powerful in the world.

If you have been paying attention to the technical details of the iPhone, you will know that, year after year, the power of the chip A that is included in each generation, has been growing in power and complexity year after year, without the battery life being depleted. When you see it in Apple’s presentation, you take it as natural, but once you isolate it from the bombardment of messages, it emerges as a truly unheard of situation and practically unique in computing.

Think about it. In the world of personal computers, more powerful chips have always resulted in more fans, thicker computers, more heat dissipated, more noise… that’s what we’ve been taught. Now comes Apple, it begins to develop its own chip for its smartphones, and year after year the processor doubles the power of the previous one, while the size of the phone remains the same. And if you increase the size of the phone, its performance increases.

Year after year, the raw performance of the iPhone chip (which is now in its fourteenth iteration, that is, it is called A14) has been approaching the power that the Intel chips offered … until it surpassed it.

Now imagine that instead of subjecting the entire design to the tyranny of the size of the iPhone, you could free it up to occupy the surface of a laptop. And that you could add fans to it so that it stayed cool and could continue processing at full speed.

When you see it like this, when you know that the phone you are selling has a more powerful chip than most PCs include, and that it consumes much less battery, you understand that creating a specialized chip for Apple computers was the natural step. , essential, to continue innovating.

Even if that means, Apple again! break away from what everyone else does.

On its way out of the easy route, that of continuing to buy chips from Intel and putting up with its development, manufacturing and pricing problems, Apple has started with computers that need less power (usually) even if the mere fact of putting the M1 chip on them makes them much more powerful.

Apple, for once without putting pressure on itself, has given itself two years to complete the transition to its own chips.

One can only begin to imagine the excitement of development teams with the possibilities offered by all the space that an iMac has to develop a board, without having to lose it for a battery, or the challenge posed by professional computers (those that they are really focused on professional performance) to achieve such maximum optimization that it pulverizes any attempt at comparison.

Finally, I believe, the beast will arrive. A Mac Pro that has already done all the work of creating an expandable system in all directions but that now has to reconvert – and add compatibility – with graphics cards, expansion systems, etc.

The transition system that Apple knows so well, and that has been implemented so that users suffer the least possible turbulence, will make this change in architecture boring or uninteresting for many.

No big fireworks (except maybe when the Mac Pro’s time comes – could there be a Mac Pro mini on the horizon?) Simply replacing one board with another, and the world – apparently – will stay the same.

Let’s not forget that 95% of the people / and I’m being generous / don’t give a damn about the chip, the architecture, or the milliseconds it takes to open an application.

They just want to turn on the computer and make everything work. That’s why they buy a Mac.

And that’s what Apple continues to offer, only faster. Too much faster.