At its “Peek Performance” presentation today, Apple introduced the M1 Ultra, a new M1 chip. According to Apple, this is the final chip in the M1 family, which includes the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max.
The Ultra is made up of two M1 Max dies that share a link on the existing M1 Max chip that is supposedly dormant. The bandwidth between the two chips is 2.5TB/s thanks to this connection. Because that’s how Apple names things, Apple calls this “Ultra Fusion.”
It’s no surprise that the Ultra version has twice as many CPU and GPU cores as the standard version, given that it’s made up of two M1 Max CPUs. There are 20 CPU cores (16 high-performance cores, four high-efficiency cores) and 64 GPU cores in total. Up to 128GB of unified memory can be supported by the microprocessor. A 32-core Neural Engine is also available for machine learning tasks. The total number of transistors is 114 billion.
All of this, according to Apple, should make the Ultra eight times quicker than the M1, but the processor still outperforms even 10-core desktop computers in terms of CPU and GPU performance per watt. Apple did not specify which desktop chips the M1 Ultra is being compared against.
In November 2020, Apple released the initial M1 processor, marking the company’s first moves away from Intel chips across its entire portfolio.
The 8-core M1 made its debut in the Mac mini, Macbook Air, and MacBook Pro when it was released in 2020. Following that, Apple released the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which had up to 10-core CPUs, 32-core GPUs, and support for 64GB of unified memory (unlike the original M1, which topped out at 16GB). The 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros were the first to feature such processors.
In the new Mac Studio, the M1 Ultra will make its premiere.
If Apple continues to this naming approach in the future, we’ll probably see M2 Pros and Max processors at a later presentation.
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