Apple introduces the M1 Ultra, the world’s most powerful PC chip.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA March 8, 2022 – Apple unveiled the M1 Ultra today, 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 innovative packaging architecture that interconnects the die of two M1 Max chips to create 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.
“M1 Ultra is another game-changer for Apple silicon that once again will shock the PC industry. By connecting two M1 Max die with our UltraFusion packaging architecture, we’re able to scale Apple silicon to unprecedented new heights,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. “With its powerful CPU, massive GPU, incredible Neural Engine, ProRes hardware acceleration, and huge amount of unified memory, M1 Ultra completes the M1 family as the world’s most powerful and capable chip for a personal computer.”
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 the M1 Ultra to function and be identified as a single chip by software, removing the need for developers to modify programs to take use of its performance.
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. 2 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.
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. 4 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.
macOS and Apps Scale Up to M1 Ultra
The Mac experience has always been about deep synergy between hardware and software. macOS Monterey was built with Apple silicon in mind, taking use of the M1 Ultra’s massive boosts in CPU, GPU, and memory bandwidth. Apps can take full advantage of the new chip thanks to developer tools like Metal, while Core ML optimizations take advantage of the new 32-core Neural Engine, allowing machine learning models to run faster than before.
Users may download the most programs for Mac ever, including iPhone and iPad apps that can now run on Mac and Universal apps that unlock the full capability of the M1 family of CPUs. Apple’s Rosetta 2 technology will work flawlessly with apps that have not yet been updated to Universal.
Apple has put Apple silicon in practically every Mac in its current lineup, and each additional chip — the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and now the M1 Ultra — gives the Mac incredible new capabilities. The M1 Ultra is the final member of Apple’s M1 family of processors, and it powers the all-new Mac Studio, a high-performance desktop machine with a reinvented compact design made possible by Apple silicon’s industry-leading performance per watt.
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. 5
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 organization, including manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This means that every chip Apple makes will be carbon neutral from design to production.