Apple today unveiled the last member of the M1 SoC family, the “M1 Ultra,” which it officially calls the most powerful computing chip ever, and it’s the processing core of its new high-performance desktop Mac Studio.
In the past, Apple’s M1 SoC had three levels, with performance from low to high, namely M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max. Apple’s M1 Ultra launched this time, directly combining two M1 Max SoCs through a new packaging architecture called UltraFusion. Connected together in a Die-to-Die manner, the performance is almost twice that of the M1 Max.
According to Apple, the M1 Ultra SoC has up to 114 billion transistors and can be configured with up to 128GB of high-bandwidth, low-latency unified memory, as well as a 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU and 32-core neural network engine.
Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technology, directly pointed out that the M1 Ultra not only completes the M1 series, but also is the most powerful and powerful PC chip in the world.
UltraFusion Package Improves Traditional Two-Way Problem
Apple said that in the past, the most common way to improve the performance of desktop hosts was to use the motherboard to connect two processing chips, which is commonly known as the concept of “two-way processor”, but this usually results in a corresponding huge cost, including computing delay. higher, lower bandwidth, and higher power consumption.
The custom packaging architecture UltraFusion developed by Apple this time uses a silicon interposer to connect two M1 Max SoCs to transmit more than 10,000 signals at the same time, providing ultra-low latency and inter-processor bandwidth of 2.5TB per second. More than 4 times the bandwidth of the current industry’s top multi-die interconnect technology.
The 20-core CPU on the Apple M1 Ultra includes 16 high-performance cores and 4 high-energy-saving cores. Apple emphasizes that the M1 Ultra uses only 100 watts less power than traditional PC chips to achieve the peak performance of past high-performance desktops.
In the face of graphics processing needs, the M1 Ultra is equipped with a 64-core GPU, which is 8 times that of the M1 SoC. The performance is faster than the top PC GPUs on the market, and the power consumption is 200 watts less.
Unified memory bandwidth soars to 800GB/s
As for Apple’s unified memory architecture, the M1 Ultra has also been upgraded, and the memory bandwidth has been doubled to 800GB/s, but the maximum capacity is maintained at 128GB. Considering that the unified memory architecture is shared by CPU and GPU, so The upper limit seems to be somewhat lower.
In addition, the M1 Ultra’s 32-core neural network engine can perform up to 22 megabytes of operations per second, and the media engine performance is twice that of the M1 Max. For Mac Studio, using the M1 Ultra SoC will be able to synchronously play up to 18 tracks of video. 8K ProRes 4:2:2 format video.
The M1 Ultra also incorporates Apple’s own technologies, such as a display engine powerful enough to drive multiple external displays, an integrated Thunderbolt 4 controller, secure compartments, hardware-authenticated secure boot and vulnerability protection during execution.
Apple said that the M1 Ultra is the last chip of the M1 SoC family, and whether it will be used in other Apple products in the future, I believe the outside world will be very excited.