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Everything you need to know about Apple Silicon

Fermín Díaz
6 min read
Everything you need to know about Apple Silicon – Apple Universe – WebMediums
Apple Silicon chip

Apple said at the Worldwide Developers Conference that it was going to start producing its own processors and integrating them into its Mac computers, instead of using the usual Intel processors. These new Apple Silicon chips use the Arm architecture that is also used by iPhones and iPads.

Of course, you must be wondering what Apple Silicon consists of and why the company decided to move away from Intel so as not to entrust it with the development of processors for its Mac devices.

Reasons why Apple distanced itself from Intel

One of the reasons Apple is distancing itself from Intel is because it wants to optimize the design of the next generations of products. Above all, because for several years they have developed highly efficient chips for their iPads and iPhone, which by the way require little power and provide better performance.

"Apple was held back by Intel's slow ability to innovate."

Now Apple wants to use this high efficiency to build a new generation of SoC (System on a Chip) Mac devices with the new computers known as Apple Silicon Macs.

Another reason for Apple's distancing from Intel is also because they are not entirely satisfied, since Intel's capacity for innovation and optimization seems to have slowed down in recent years and that has motivated the company to look for better options.

Everything you need to know about Apple Silicon – Apple Universe – WebMediums
Macs are more powerful with Apple Silicon

Control is another reason. This because Apple could have changed to AMD, but it would have been the same problem, since they were going to depend on an external provider in the same way.

But when Apple begins to include the designs of its own processors, this allows it to have better coordination and internal communication with its hardware and software teams, being able to ensure that each benefits from the characteristics of the other.

What is ARM?

ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machine. This technology was designed by the developer Arm holdings, but the designs are under the license of different companies such as Apple, which are authorized to include them in their processors.

Apple has long used ARM on its iPads and iPhones. These chips are well known for low power consumption which is very convenient for cell phones, tablets and other smart home devices.

It is precisely because of this efficiency that ARM technology is so attractive to Apple, because it provides the opportunity to produce thin and light devices without having to reduce performance. What's more, Microsoft has wanted to use these chips in its ARM devices with Windows, such as the Surface Pro X.

Everything you need to know about Apple Silicon – Apple Universe – WebMediums
ARM technology

The new iMac and MacBook Pro computers come with Apple Silicon chips, but not the entire lineup of Mac devices will start using them right away because it can take a couple of years to achieve.

In fact, future Intel-powered devices are already in the pipeline, so not all Macs will bring Apple Silicon at once.

Is Apple Silicon more powerful than Intel?

It is not easy to answer this question, because not many companies are using computers with ARM technology, with the exception of Microsoft that has already launched the Surface Pro X that mentioned that the performance is three times higher than the previous model.

On iPads and iPhones, ARM-powered chips far outperform the competition, and this is a huge plus for Apple Silicon. On the other hand, according to some tests that Apple has carried out, Apple Silicon chips are superior to those of Intel.

Especially when it comes to artificial intelligence and graphics while consuming little power.

"The new Apple Silicon M1 chip is considered the most powerful on the planet today."

Apple confirmed this at WWDC where its new chips aim to combine high-end performance with low levels of power consumption.

Apple Silicon's compatibility with applications

Apple Silicon if it is compatible with the applications. In Microsoft's case, they warned consumers that certain applications might have compatibility issues. But Apple hasn't had that problem.

There are several applications that are compatible with Apple Silicon, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe, Notes, and Final Cut Pro. An updated version of Xcode allows programmers to bring applications from Intel with the use of a binary program known as Universal 2 that can work both with Apple as with Intel.

Everything you need to know about Apple Silicon – Apple Universe – WebMediums
Rosetta 2

Apple also updated Rosetta to make it easier for developers to switch their applications when it moved from PowerPC to Intel. The latest update is Rosetta 2, which can translate applications as they install and start immediately.

This is a positive thing, due to the applications where the developers have not made Apple Silicon models, they can work smoothly on the ARM architecture. Additionally, Apple also enabled virtualization so Linux could run.

Is Apple Silicon Mac recommended?

Generally, many advise that the first generation of Apple Silicon be passed up for future refinement and optimization. Although the results of the new Apple Silicon devices are very encouraging, as the company is showing that its ARM processors can outperform its Intel competitor.

When updates and new technology launches occur, it is normal that there is uncertainty of what will result, and the millions of users that Apple has are no exception.

This is why the company, being aware of this, designed Rosetta 2 so that high-level applications can run on the new system.

"The reviews that Apple users around the world are giving show that Apple Silicon chips are worth it and have a promising future."

Although many users prefer to be cautious and wait for the results of the first generation of Apple Silicon devices, there are others who have opted to give the company a vote of confidence, acquiring the new MacBook with Apple Silicon chip.

According to the comments and reviews that are read on the web, the experiences have been very satisfactory so far. The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models have been praised for having the most powerful processor on the planet, and the same can be said for desktop computers, such as the 24-inch iMac that has captivated millions of users.

All about Apple Silicon.