Apple Introduces the M1 Ultra, the World’s Most Powerful Personal Computer Chip

Apple revealed today the M1 Ultra, the company’s next quantum leap in silicon and the Mac. With UltraFusion — Apple’s innovative packaging architecture that connects the die of two M1 Max processors to create a system on a chip (SoC) with unprecedented performance and capabilities — M1 Ultra provides breathtaking computing power to the new Mac Studio, maintaining an industry-leading performance per watt.

The new SoC contains 114 billion transistors, the highest number ever found in a single personal computer chip.

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

“M1 Ultra is another game-changing piece of Apple technology that will stun the PC market once again. We’re able to expand Apple silicon to unprecedented new heights by linking two M1 Max die with our UltraFusion packaging design,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies.

“With a strong CPU, a gigantic GPU, an astonishing Neural Engine, hardware acceleration for ProRes, and a tremendous quantity of unified memory, the M1 Ultra completes the M1 family as the world’s most powerful and capable personal computer processor.”

UltraFusion Architecture is a First-of-its-kind

M1 Ultra is built on top of the incredibly powerful and energy-efficient M1, Max. M1 Ultra is constructed by connecting the die of two M1 Max using UltraFusion, Apple’s proprietary packaging design.

The most popular method of scaling performance is to link two CPUs through a motherboard, which often comes with substantial trade-offs such as higher latency, decreased bandwidth, and increased power consumption.

On the other hand, Apple’s revolutionary UltraFusion technology utilizes a silicon interposer to connect the chips across more than 10,000 signals, providing a massive 2.5TB/s of low-latency inter-processor bandwidth — more than four times the bandwidth of the leading multi-chip interconnect technology.

This enables M1 Ultra to function and be identified as a single chip by software, eliminating the need for developers to modify code to make use of its speed. Nothing like it has ever existed.

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Unprecedented Performance and Efficient Power Consumption

The M1 Ultra is equipped with a 20-core CPU with 16 high-performance and four high-efficiency cores. It outperforms the fastest 16-core PC desktop CPU available by 90 percent in multi-threaded performance within the same power envelope.

Additionally, M1 Ultra achieves the top performance of the PC processor while consuming 100 fewer watts. 2 This incredible efficiency means that less energy is consumed and fans operate silently, even when intensive workflows such as processing large quantities of virtual instruments, audio plug-ins, and effects are processed by software like Logic Pro.

For the most graphics-intensive tasks, such as 3D rendering and complicated image processing, the M1 Ultra features a 64-core GPU — eight times the size of the M1 — that delivers performance comparable to even the highest-end PC GPU while consuming 200 percent less power.

Apple M1 Ultra

Apple’s unified memory architecture has also been expanded with the introduction of the M1 Ultra. The memory speed has been enhanced to 800GB/s, more than tenfold that of the most recent PC desktop processor, and the M1 Ultra may be equipped with 128GB of unified memory.

Compared to the most powerful PC graphics cards, which support up to 48GB of graphics RAM, nothing comes close to M1 Ultra in GPU-intensive applications, such as dealing with extreme 3D geometry and rendering great sceneries.

M1 Ultra’s 32-core Neural Engine performs up to 22 trillion operations per second, accelerating even the most difficult machine learning workloads. Additionally, with double the media engine horsepower of M1 Max, M1 Ultra delivers unmatched ProRes video encode and decode throughput.

Indeed, the new Mac Studio with M1 Ultra can play back up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video – a feat achieved by no other processor.

Additionally, the M1 Ultra incorporates custom Apple technologies such as a display engine capable of driving multiple external displays, integrated Thunderbolt 4 controllers, and best-in-class security features such as Apple’s latest Secure Enclave, hardware-verified secure boot, and runtime anti-exploitation technologies.

macOS and Applications Expand to M1 Ultra

The Mac experience has always been defined by a strong combination of hardware and software. macOS Monterey has been optimized for Apple hardware, taking advantage of the massive boosts in CPU, GPU, and memory bandwidth provided by M1 Ultra.

Developer tools such as Metal enable apps to take full advantage of the new processor. In contrast, Core ML optimizations utilize the new 32-core Neural Engine to accelerate machine learning models.

Users now have access to the broadest assortment of Mac software ever, including iPhone and iPad apps that can now run on Mac, as well as Universal apps that leverage the M1 family of CPUs to their maximum potential. Apps that have not been upgraded to Universal compatibility will work perfectly using Apple’s Rosetta 2 technology.

Another Significant Development in the Transition to Apple Silicon

Apple has integrated Apple silicon into practically every Mac in its current range. Each new chip — the M1, the M1 Pro, the M1 Max, and now the M1 Ultra — unlocks incredible potential for the Mac.

The M1 Ultra completes Apple’s M1 family of CPUs, powering the all-new Mac Studio, a high-performance desktop system with a reinvented compact design enabled by Apple silicon’s industry-leading performance per watt.

Silicones from Apple and the Environment

Apple’s proprietary silicon’s energy efficiency enables Mac Studio to consume less power during its lifespan. Indeed, while offering exceptional performance, Mac Studio consumes up to 1,000 kilowatt-hours less energy over a year than a high-end PC desktop.

Apple is carbon neutral in its worldwide operations today and aspires to achieve net-zero climate impact throughout the whole organization by 2030, including manufacturing supply chains and product life cycles. This means that every chip Apple designs and manufactures will be carbon neutral from start to finish.

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