Apple unveiled its M1Pro and M1Max chips used to power the new MacBook Pro laptops.
Apple claims the M1 Max chip, with 57 billion transistors, is the most powerful it has ever built.
The new chips were announced nearly a year after the company revealed its first silicon-powered Mac computers of its own design.
It comes after Apple cut its iPhone 13 production targets due to the global shortage of computer chips.
Gartner’s industry analyst Mikako Kitagawa said “the performance boost is pretty impressive.”
Apple says the new chips will achieve comparable performance to the latest 8-core PC laptop chip running at full speed using 70% of the power.
Usage of the chip, the company said, would be up to 1.7 times faster than the 8-core PC chip.
These claims have not yet been independently verified.
Apple’s chips are sometimes referred to as “arm-based” because it licenses instruction sets from the British company of that name.
These instruction sets determine how processors handle commands. However, the main processor circuits are designed by Apple.
For years, Apple has been using Intel-designed chips. The move to designing its own silicon has been good for the company, says Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight.
“The advent of Apple Silicon was a blow in the arm for the MacBook line-up,” he said.
The two chips power the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops and a new operating system, macOS Monterey.
In the “Unleashed” launch presentation, Apple emphasized the MacBook’s power and long battery life.
There was a sense, an analyst said, that creative industries workers are starting to move away from the Macbook Pro.
But they would find the new machines attractive, according to Ms. Kitagawa. “Apple is really defending the creative professional market which is their core market,” he said.
The MacBooks were unveiled at a time when the company warned of the impact of the global chip shortage.
Earlier, Apple chief Tim Cook said the problem could affect products using M1 chips. Recent reports suggest that the shortage could affect the production of the iPhone 13.
Apple-designed silicon, says Ben Wood, won’t isolate the company from the shortage.
“The fact that Apple has designed its own chips does not necessarily mean that it is immune to the wider chipset shortage,” he said.
“There is no doubt that it will be in a strong position to secure supply, but ultimately the overall semiconductor shortage comes down to production capacity.”
Ms. Kitagawa also noted that because dedicated graphics chips (GPUs) are in short supply, the new MacBook Pros may be “more immune to deficiency as the machine doesn’t have discrete graphics – one less component they have to worry about.”
The new laptops overturn a much-criticized Apple design decision.
In particular, the abandonment of Magsafe, a magnetically protected power supply that releases with a firm pull.
Ben Wood said: “Many users will be ecstatic that the MagSafe power connector is back. When you’ve invested a small fortune in a MacBook, the last thing you want is to take a careless trip on a power cord to see it crash. from the desk to the floor. ”
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