Tech UPTechnologyThis is the chip that can end the semiconductor...

This is the chip that can end the semiconductor shortage

When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPad 12 years ago, the Apple co-founder touted the self-made chip inside the tablet. Since then, Apple has improved the designs of its homegrown microchips , which now power its iPhones, Apple Watch and other products.

A few weeks ago, Apple revealed its latest chip, the behemoth M1 Ultra, which will serve as the brains of its new computer, the Mac Studio. Essentially two chips in one, the M1 Ultra uses a high-speed link called UltraFusion with 10,000 tiny wires to join two M1 Max chips and their memory banks. It extends Apple’s focus on efficient performance and is made of 114 billion transistors, the fundamental element of chip circuitry.

A superchip for one of the most powerful computers

The M1 Ultra should calm the nerves of anyone concerned about the quality of Apple’s Mac products as the company moves away from Intel processors to adopt its own M-series chips. A high-end processor, the M1 Ultra is designed for customers who can afford to spend a lot of money on computers to edit 8K movies, render 3D animations, and build software as quickly as possible. For the average user, however, the nuances of the chips are less important than their usefulness. Customers just want their devices to work well.

Still, rising demand for Apple’s chips has already sparked a phenomenon across the tech world, pushing industry mainstays and longtime supplier Intel to focus on better battery life without sacrificing performance. performance. Other tech giants, including Microsoft and Google, have also seen Apple’s move and have started to get their act together to produce their own chips and stop relying on foreign markets, where shortages of semiconductors are wreaking havoc.

Apple dodges semiconductor shortage

The M1 Ultra is an extension in the line of M1 processors, which debuted in November 2020 in the MacBook Air. The PC’s slim chassis benefited from the low-power chip design, which is a variation of the processors in Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Later versions, the M1 Pro and last year’s M1 Max, brought Apple-designed chips that could power the company’s larger MacBook Pro laptops. Although Apple designs its processors, it relies on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to build them.

Intel, now almost completely out of the Mac product market, expects its own chip technology to outperform rivals’ devices by 2025. Apple charges a whopping sum for the M1 Ultra. The base price of a low-end Mac Studio with an M1 Max is 2,000 euros. Upgrading to an M1 Ultra doubles the price, to 4,000, but also doubles the base SSD storage capacity to 1TB and memory to 64GB.

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