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APPLE INTRODUCES THE M1 ULTRA, THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL PERSONAL COMPUTER CHIP

by Juhi Tripathi

Date & Time: Mar 09, 2022 1:00 PM

Read Time: 4 minute


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • M1 Ultra, which is included in the all-new Mac Studio, delivers unrivalled desktop performance
  • The new SoC has 114 billion transistors,(most number ever seen on a personal computer device)
  • The M1 Ultra is equipped with a 20-core CPU that includes 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores

Apple unveiled the M1 Ultra, the company's next big leap forward in terms of silicon and the Mac. M1 Ultra delivers breathtaking computing power to the new Mac Studio while maintaining industry-leading performance per watt thanks to UltraFusion, Apple's new packaging architecture that interconnects the die of two M1 Max chips to generate a system on a chip (SoC) with unprecedented levels of performance and capabilities. The new SoC has 114 billion transistors, which is the most number ever seen on a personal computer device.

The M1 Ultra can be configured with up to 128GB of high-bandwidth, low-latency unified memory that the 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine can access, providing incredible performance for developers compiling code, artists working in massive 3D environments that were previously impossible to render, and video professionals who can transcode video to ProRes up to 5.6x faster than a 28-core Mac Pro with Afterburner.

World’s most powerful and capable SoC for a personal computer

"Apple's M1 Ultra is another another game-changer that will once again shock the PC industry." We're able to expand Apple silicon to unprecedented new heights by linking two M1 Max die with our UltraFusion packaging architecture," said Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. "The M1 Ultra completes the M1 series as the world's most powerful and capable SoC for a personal computer, with its powerful CPU, large GPU, amazing Neural Engine, ProRes hardware acceleration, and massive amount of unified memory."

Groundbreaking UltraFusion Architecture

The M1 Ultra is built on top of the incredibly powerful and energy-efficient M1 Max. The die of two M1 Max are linked using UltraFusion, Apple's custom-built packaging architecture, to create M1 Ultra. Connecting two CPUs through a motherboard is the most popular technique to scale performance, although this often comes with substantial trade-offs, such as higher latency, lower bandwidth, and increased power consumption.

Apple's UltraFusion, on the other hand, employs a silicon interposer to connect the chips across more than 10,000 signals, resulting in a whopping 2.5TB/s of low-latency inter-processor bandwidth – more than four times that of the top multi-chip interconnect technology. This allows software to identify the M1 Ultra as a single chip, removing the need for developers to recompile code to take use of its performance.

Unprecedented Performance and Power Efficiency

The M1 Ultra is equipped with a 20-core CPU that includes 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. In the same power envelope, it gives 90 percent greater multi-threaded performance than the fastest current 16-core PC desktop CPU.

In addition, the M1 Ultra uses 100 fewer watts to reach the peak performance of the PC processor. Even when software like Logic Pro blast through demanding processes like processing enormous amounts of virtual instruments, audio plug-ins, and effects, the incredible efficiency means less energy is consumed and fans operate silently.
M1 Ultra includes a 64-core GPU – 8x the size of M1 — for the most graphics-intensive tasks, such as 3D rendering and complicated image processing, giving quicker performance than even the highest-end PC 
GPU while using 200 watts less power.

M1 Ultra

With M1 Ultra, Apple's unified memory architecture has been scaled up. The memory bandwidth has been enhanced to 800GB/s, which is more than 10 times faster than the most recent PC desktop chip, and the M1 Ultra may be equipped with 128GB of unified memory. Nothing compares to M1 Ultra in terms of graphics memory for GPU-intensive applications like working with extreme 3D geometry and rendering huge scenes, which can reach 48GB on the most powerful PC graphics cards.

The M1 Ultra's 32-core Neural Engine performs up to 22 trillion operations per second, accelerating even the most difficult machine learning workloads. M1 Ultra also boasts exceptional ProRes video encode and decode throughput, with double the media engine capabilities of M1 Max. The new Mac Studio with M1 Ultra, in fact, can play back up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video, a feat that no other processor can match. Custom Apple technologies, such as a display engine capable of driving multiple external displays, integrated Thunderbolt 4 controllers, and best-in-class security, such as Apple's latest Secure Enclave, hardware-verified secure boot, and runtime anti-exploitation technologies, are also included in the M1 Ultra.

Apple Silicon and the Environment

Apple's proprietary silicon's energy efficiency allows Mac Studio to use less power over its lifespan. In fact, over the course of a year, Mac Studio uses up to 1,000 kilowatt-hours less energy than a high-end PC desktop while delivering exceptional performance.

Apple is currently carbon neutral in its global operations, and by 2030, the company expects to have a net-zero climate impact throughout the whole organisation, including manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This means that every chip Apple makes will be carbon neutral from design to production.

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