Learn all about Apple's M1 with this 350-page deep dive

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,501   +132
Staff member
Why it matters: Former Apple QuickTime developer Maynard Handley has published a preliminary analysis of Apple’s M1 system on a chip (SoC). Handley’s hope is that the research he has presented can be used to help others spend less time reinventing the wheel, and more time learning about Apple’s next-gen hardware when it finally arrives.

Handley’s technical analysis involved multiple experiments, and lots of reading up on Apple patents and related literature. It’s the sort of deep dive that’s likely only going to appeal to serious hardware enthusiasts and engineering types – we’re talking 350 pages here, and again, this is just version 0.70.

Read also: Apple M1: Why it Matters

Apple, if you recall, announced plans to switch to custom ARM-based silicon in mid-2020. The first systems powered by the new M1 SoC arrived in time for the holidays, impressing in terms of performance and efficiency compared to traditional x86 CPUs from Intel and AMD.

As Tom’s Hardware correctly highlights, Apple’s walled-garden approach has made it somewhat difficult for those outside of Apple’s ecosystem to get excited about the M1 SoC considering it only works with an Apple operating system. That said, there has been progress on that front, as a group recently managed to boot into Linux using an M1.

The 350-page PDF (version 0.70) is available to download and do with as you wish.

As for the rumored M2, most expect it'll arrive in the first half of 2022, perhaps inside of a redesigned MacBook Air. An M1X is also said to be in the works for higher-end Macs.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,097   +2,077
As Tom’s Hardware correctly highlights, Apple’s walled-garden approach has made it somewhat difficult for those outside of Apple’s ecosystem to get excited about the M1 SoC considering it only works with an Apple operating system.

Hate to get all "Actually" nerd on you but actually, a simple stroll through youtube will show you several videos of people running Ubuntu Linux bare metal on M1. Not perfect: no wifi drivers and no graphics drivers so pretty sub par experience but people have already managed to get their foot in the M1 door so to speak.