Apple Announces M1 Ultra: Combining Two M1 Maxes For Workstation Performance

As part of Apple’s spring “Peek Performance” product event this morning, Apple unveiled the fourth and final member of the M1 family of Apple Silicon SoCs, the M1 Ultra. Aimed squarely at desktops – specifically, Apple’s new Mac Studio – the M1 Ultra finds Apple once again upping the ante in terms of SoC performance for both CPU and GPU workloads. And in the process, Apple has thrown the industry a fresh curveball by not just combining two M1 Max dies into a single chip package, but by making the two dies present themselves as a single, monolithic GPU, marking yet another first for the chipmaking industry.

Back when Apple announced the M1 Pro and the already ridiculously powerful M1 Max last fall, we figured Apple was done with M1 chips. After all, how would you even top a single 432mm2 chip that’s already pushing the limits of manufacturability on TSMC’s N5 process? Well, as the answer turns out to be, Apple can do one better. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say twice as better. As for the company’s final and ultimate M1 chip design, the M1 Ultra, Apple has bonded two M1 Max dies together on to a single chip, with all of the performance benefits doubling their hardware would entail.

The net result is a chip that, without a doubt, manages to be one of the most interesting designs I’ve ever seen for a consumer SoC. As we’ll touch upon in our analysis, the M1 Ultra is not quite like any other consumer chip currently on the market. And while double die strategy benefits sprawling multi-threaded CPU and GPU workloads far more than it does more single-threaded tasks – an area where Apple is already starting to fall behind – in the process they re breaking new ground on the GPU front. By enabling the M1 Ultra’s two dies to transparently present themselves as a single GPU, Apple has kicked off a new technology race for placing multi-die GPUs in high-end consumer and workstation hardware.

Source: Recent News