Apple launches MacBook laptops with first microprocessor designed in-house

By Stephen Nellis (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Tuesday introduced a MacBook Air notebook and other computers with the first microprocessor designed in-house, a move that will tie its Macs and iPhones closer together technologically. The new chip, called the M1, marks a shift away from Intel Corp technology that has driven the electronic brains of Mac computers for nearly 15 years

Reuters November 11, 2020 02:05:34 IST
Apple launches MacBook laptops with first microprocessor designed in-house

Apple launches MacBook laptops with first microprocessor designed inhouse

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) - Apple Inc on Tuesday introduced a MacBook Air notebook and other computers with the first microprocessor designed in-house, a move that will tie its Macs and iPhones closer together technologically.

The new chip, called the M1, marks a shift away from Intel Corp technology that has driven the electronic brains of Mac computers for nearly 15 years.

It is a boon for Apple computers, which are overshadowed by the company's iPhone but still rack up tens of billions of dollars in sales per year. Apple hopes developers now will create families of apps that work on both computers and phones.

The MacBook Air will start at $999 (£754), the same as its predecessor, and have up to twice the battery life, Apple said. The M1 will also power the MacBook Pro notebook, which starts at $1299, and its $699 Mac Mini computer, which comes without a monitor.

The Mini is targeted at engineers and scientists because of artificial intelligence capabilities of the new chip that usually require a graphics chip from Nvidia Corp or AMD.

The new products will be available from next week, executives said.

Shares of Apple were up about 0.2% as the event ended.

EFFICIENT AND FAST

In June, Apple said it would begin outfitting Macs with its own chips, building on its decade-long history of designing processors for its iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

Apple executives said on Tuesday that the M1 was intended to be efficient as well as fast, to improve battery life, and that Apple's newest version of its operating system was tuned to the processor.

"This announcement underscores how important high-performance, custom processor designs will be to leading the next generation of client computing," said Jon Carvill, vice president of Nuvia, a data center chip firm founded by former Apple executives. "We think a similar trend is playing out in the future of the data center as well."

Apple executives made numerous performance claims against Windows-based laptops and prior generations of Macs, virtually all of which are based on Intel chips, though Apple did not directly name Intel.

"We believe Intel-powered PCs — like those based on 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors — provide global customers the best experience in the areas they value most, as well as the most open platform for developers, both today and into the future," Intel said in a statement.

Apple's phone chips draw on computing architecture technology from UK-based Arm Ltd and manufactured by outside partners such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp <2330.TW>, or TSMC.

Microsoft Corp and Qualcomm Corp have been working together for four years to bring Arm-based Windows laptops to market, with major manufacturers such as Lenovo Group Ltd <0992.HK>, Asustek Computer <2357.TW> and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> offering machines.

But for both Microsoft and Apple, the true test will be software developers. Apple is hoping that the massive group of iPhone developers will embrace the new Macs, which will share a common 64-bit Arm computing architecture with the iPhone and be able to use similar apps.

Apple software chief Craig Federighi said Adobe Inc would bring its Photoshop software to the new M1-based Macs early next year.

Apple has seen a boom in Mac sales due to the coronavirus pandemic, notching record fiscal fourth quarter Mac sales of $9 billion earlier this month - all of them Intel-based. In June, Chief Executive Tim Cook said Apple would continue to support those devices for "years to come" but did not specify an end-of-life date.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Peter Henderson in Oakland; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Rosalba O'Brien)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.