The Apple M1 processor has sparked something of a revolution since it arrived in the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) and MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020), and provided both those machines with desktop levels of power, yet doesn't even require a fan.
As a result, the Apple M1 has won the 'Breakthrough Award' in the Tom's Guide Awards 2021. Our friends at Tom's Guide spoke to some of the key players at Apple about the development of the M1 chip, and revealed some very interesting information about the past and future of Apple's processors.
One thing of note is that Apple doesn't seem to expect anyone else to catch up with the M1 immediately. The likes of Qualcomm and Intel are, naturally, now aiming to compete with it for efficiency and power, but Apple's vice president of platform architecture, Tim Milet, had this to say:
"If somebody else could build a chip that was actually going to deliver better performance inside that enclosure, what's the point? Why would we switch? And so for my chip architects, that was the target."
Apple's VP of worldwide product marketing, Bob Borchers, also talked about playing with the chip for the first time, and not really believing what they had on their hands:
"When we saw that first system and then you sat there and played with it for a few hours and the battery didn't move, we thought 'Oh man, that's a bug, the battery indicator is broken'."
Of course, it was all working as planned, much to Tim Cook's amusement, apparently.
Tom's Guide also got Milet to open up a little about the potential future of Apple's chips. "You can imagine the pride of some of the GPU folks and imagining, ‘Hey, wouldn't it be great if it hits a broader set of those really intense gamers'," he said. "It's a natural place for us to be looking."
More powerful GPU options have been rumoured for the 'M1X' (or whatever it ends up being called) that would power the next MacBook Pro models, so it sounds like we could see some ambitious moves in that direction
Read the full awards piece if you want more tidbits from Apple's M1 development, along with some other worthy winners.