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Apple M1 Processor Manages to Mine Ethereum

Ethereum mining has been a crazy ride over the years. In recent times, it has become very popular due to a huge surge in Ethereum prices, following those of the main coin currently present on the market - Bitcoin. However, Ethereum miners use a customized PC stocked with many graphics cards to mine the Ethereum coin. Any other alternative is not viable and graphics cards have a high hash rate of the KECCAK-256 hashing algorithm. But have you ever wondered could you mine Ethereum on your shiny new Apple M1-equipped Mac? Our guess is no, however, there are still some people making experiments with the new Apple M1 processor and testing its capabilities.

Software engineer Yifan Gu, working for Zensors, has found a way to use Apple's M1 GPU to mine Ethereum. Mr. Gu has ported Ethminer utility to Apple's macOS for Apple Silicon and has managed to get GPU mining the coins. While technically it was possible, the results were rather poor. The integrated GPU has managed to get only 2 MH/s of mining power, which is rather low compared to alternatives (desktop GPUs). Being possible doesn't mean it is a good idea. The software will consume all of the GPU power and it will limit your work with the GPU, so it isn't exactly a profitable solution.

NVIDIA GeForce Now Gains Support for Google Chrome & Apple M1 Devices

NVIDIA has recently released GeForce NOW 2.0.27 which includes a variety of improvements and bug-fixes. NVIDIA has added beta support for the Google Chrome browser on Windows and macOS which will make it easier to start playing. GeForce NOW Users can simply go to https://play.geforcenow.com/ to start playing, along with Google Chrome support NVIDIA has made it easier to save and share games simply by copying the URL. NVIDIA also updated GeForce NOW macOS to include native support for Apple M1 devices which will enable the best experience on these devices. You can read the full release notes for GeForce NOW 2.0.27 below.

Apple Patents Multi-Level Hybrid Memory Subsystem

Apple has today patented a new approach to how it uses memory in the System-on-Chip (SoC) subsystem. With the announcement of the M1 processor, Apple has switched away from the traditional Intel-supplied chips and transitioned into a fully custom SoC design called Apple Silicon. The new designs have to integrate every component like the Arm CPU and a custom GPU. Both of these processors need good memory access, and Apple has figured out a solution to the problem of having both the CPU and the GPU accessing the same pool of memory. The so-called UMA (unified memory access) represents a bottleneck because both processors share the bandwidth and the total memory capacity, which would leave one processor starving in some scenarios.

Apple has patented a design that aims to solve this problem by combining high-bandwidth cache DRAM as well as high-capacity main DRAM. "With two types of DRAM forming the memory system, one of which may be optimized for bandwidth and the other of which may be optimized for capacity, the goals of bandwidth increase and capacity increase may both be realized, in some embodiments," says the patent, " to implement energy efficiency improvements, which may provide a highly energy-efficient memory solution that is also high performance and high bandwidth." The patent got filed way back in 2016 and it means that we could start seeing this technology in the future Apple Silicon designs, following the M1 chip.

Update 21:14 UTC: We have been reached out by Mr. Kerry Creeron, an attorney with the firm of Banner & Witcoff, who provided us with additional insights about the patent. Mr. Creeron has provided us with his personal commentary about it, and you can find Mr. Creeron's quote below.

Linux Gets Ported to Apple's M1-Based Devices

When Apple introduces its lineup of devices based on the custom Apple Silicon, many people have thought that it represents the end for any further device customization and that Apple is effectively locking-up the ecosystem even more. That is not the case we have today. Usually, developers working on Macs are always in need of another operating system to test their software and try it out. It means that they have to run some virtualization software like virtual machines to test another OS like Linux and possibly Windows. However, it would be a lot easier if they could just boot that OS directly on the device and that is exactly why we are here today.

Researchers from Corellium, a startup company based in Florida, working on ARM device virtualization, have pulled off an incredible feat. They have managed to get Linux running on Apple's M1 custom silicon based devices. The CTO of Corellium, Mr. Chris Wade, has announced that Linux is now fully usable on M1 silicon. The port can take full advantage of the CPU, however, there is no GPU acceleration for now, and graphics are set to the software rendering mode. Corellium also promises to take the changes it made upstream to the Linux kernel itself, meaning open-source and permissive license model. Below you can find an image of Apple M1 Mac Mini running the latest Ubuntu OS build.

Qualcomm Reportedly Developing Apple M1 Competitor Dubbed Snapdragon SC8280

Qualcomm is no stranger to developing ARM-based computer processors having released the Snapdragon 8cx and more recently the 8cx Gen 2, however they pale in comparison to Apple's recently releases 5 nm M1 chip. Qualcomm has acknowledged that Apple's latest silicon is a sign of where the future of computing is going and it would seem they have been preparing a competitor. In a new report from WinFuture it is revealed that Qualcomm has been developing a new SOC with internal model number SC8280 as a successor to the 8cx Gen 2.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon SC8280 was found in two configurations one with 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM while the other was coupled with 32 GB of LPDDR4X memory. This is double what Apple offers with the M1 chip which is only available in 8 GB and 16 GB LPDDR4X configurations. The chip has also seen a 13% die size increase coming in at 20 mm x 17 mm up from the 20 mm x 15 mm on the 8cx Gen 2. This new processor is still under development and it is yet to been seen how it will compare with the M1 or the rumored 12-core Apple processor.

Pat Gelsinger: "Intel Has to be Better at Making CPUs Than That Lifestyle Company"

Intel's future CEO Pat Gelsinger, who supersedes current CEO Bob Swan come February 15th, has reportedly compared Intel with Apple's efforts, in wake of that company's decision to leave the Intel ecosystem in favor of in-house designed ARM CPUs. As Apple M1-powered devices hit reviewers' tables, the opinions mostly went one-sided in favor of Apple's decision, clamoring for that particular CPU design to be only lightly short of a computing miracle, considering the amount of computing power provided at that chip's TDP, and running circles around Apple's previous Intel implementations.

According to The Oregonian, a local newspaper from (you guessed it) Oregon where Intel has a strong branch presence, Intel held an all-hands meeting of its Oregon workforce, attended by future Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who is quoted as having remarked that "We [Intel] have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino makes. We have to be that good, in the future." Considering how Apple's M1 has raised the world's attention to the ARM architecture as a competitor with strong enough arguments to face the x86 ecosystem (as if ARM powering the world's current fastest supercomputer wasn't a strong enough argument), that seems like a strong yet adequate statement. We'll see how Intel fares with its Alder lake CPUs, which essentially bring ARM's design philosophy of an heterogeneous CPU with both high-performance and high-efficiency cores to the x86 table.

Apple M1 & A14 Die Shot Comparison Shows Differences in SoC Design

When Apple first announced the M1, questions arose about the differences between it and the A14 chip which both share many architectural features and are both manufactured on TSMC's 5 nm process. Semiconductor analysis firm TechInsights has recently published die photos of the two processors and a summary of the changes.

The M1 features four high-performance Firestorm cores and four energy-efficient IceStorm cores for a total of eight CPU cores. The A14 only features six CPU cores with two high-performance Firestorm cores and four energy-efficient IceStorm cores. The M1 includes doubles the amount of GPU cores and DDR interfaces then found on the A14. The M1 also incorporates silicon not found on the A14 including the Apple T2 security processor and other controllers. These additions result in a die size 37% larger than the A14.

Riding on the Success of the M1, Apple Readies 32-core Chip for High-end Macs

Apple's M1 SoC is possibly the year's biggest semiconductor success story, as the chip has helped Apple begin its transition away from Intel's x86 machine architecture, and create its own silicon that's optimized for its software and devices; much like its A-series SoCs powering iOS devices. The company now plans to scale up this silicon with a new 32-core version designed for high-performance Mac devices, such as the fastest MacBook Pro models; and possibly even iMac Pros and Mac Pros. The new silicon could debut in a new-generation Mac Pro in 2022. Bloomberg reports that the new silicon will allow this workstation to be half the size of the current-gen Mac Pro workstation in form, while letting Apple keep its generational performance growth trajectory.

In addition, Apple is reportedly developing a 16-core "big" + 4 "small" core version of the M1, which could power more middle-of-the-market Macs, such as the iMac desktop, and the bulk of the MacBook Pro lineup. The 16B+4s core chip could debut as early as Spring 2021. Elsewhere, the company is reportedly stepping up efforts to develop its own high-end professional-visualization GPU that it can use in its iMac Pro and Mac Pro workstations, replacing the AMD Radeon Pro solutions found in the current generation. This graphics architecture will be built from the ground-up for the Metal 3D graphics API, as well as a parallel compute accelerator. Perhaps the 2022 debut of the Arm-powered Mac Pro could feature this GPU.

Alleged Apple M1X Processor Specifications Surface

Apple's silicon design team has recently launched its "fastest" CPU core ever, found inside the company's M1 processor designed for laptops and mini-PCs. Featuring an eight-core processor, where four cores are represented by low power small configurations, and four big, high-performance design cores, the M1 processor proved to be extremely fast. However, the Apple Silicon processor doesn't seem to cover anything higher than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. And that is about to change. When it comes to higher-end models like the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which provides more cooling area, it is logical that the processor for those designs is a higher performance design.

Enter the world of the Apple M1X processor. Designed for high-end laptops and the most demanding workloads, the new processor aims to create a new performance level. Featuring a 12-core CPU with eight big and four small cores, the M1X processor is going to deliver much better performance than M1. The graphics and memory configuration are currently unknown, so we have to wait and see how it will look like. The M1X is set to arrive sometime in Q1 of 2021, according to the source of the leak, so be patient and remember to take this information with a grain of salt.

OWC Announces Mac Compatibility for New Thunderbolt Hub

OWC, the premier zero-emissions Mac and PC technology company, and a respected provider of Memory, External Drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions, and performance upgrade kits, announced Mac compatibility and certification of its new OWC Thunderbolt Hub. Previously certified for Thunderbolt 4 PCs, the OWC Thunderbolt Hub is now available for new M1 Macs and all Thunderbolt 3 equipped Macs once upgraded to the new Apple MacOS 11 "Big Sur". The OWC Thunderbolt Hub will give both Mac and PC users the additional Thunderbolt ports they've always wanted.

The OWC Thunderbolt Hub offers the new Thunderbolt hubbing technology. You can now have four Thunderbolt ports, plus one USB port on your new Apple M1 Mac, Apple "Intel" Mac with Thunderbolt 3, or any Thunderbolt 4 PC with this compact hub. You can connect and charge any device with a USB-C or USB-A connector. Support up to two 4K displays or a single 5K/6K/8K display. Add high-performance storage, including NVMe solutions, and generally make your workflow work for you by adding A/V mixers, phone or tablet, even desktop accessories like a keyboard or mouse—all through a single Thunderbolt port. Accessories with past, present, or future USB or Thunderbolt interfaces connect to the OWC Thunderbolt Hub.

Apple M1 Beats Intel "Willow Cove" in Cinebench R23 Single Core Test?

Maxon ported the its latest Cinebench R23 benchmark to the macOS "Big Sur" Apple M1 platform, and the performance results are groundbreaking. An Apple M1-powered MacBook Pro allegedly scored 1498 points in the single-core Cinebench R23 test, beating the 1382 points of the Core i7-1165G7 reference score as tested by Maxon. These scores were posted to Twitter by an M1 MacBook Pro owner who goes by "@mnloona48_" The M1 chip was clocked at 3.10 GHz for the test. The i7-1165G7 uses Intel's latest "Willow Cove" CPU cores. In the same test, the M1 scores 7508 points in the multi-core test. If these numbers hold up, we can begin to see why Apple chose to dump Intel's x86 machine architecture in favor of its own Arm-powered custom silicon, as the performance on offer holds up against the highest IPC mobile processors in the market.

OWC Announces Product Compatibilities with New Apple M1 Macs

OWC, the premier zero-emissions Mac and PC technology company, and a respected provider of Memory, External Drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions, and performance upgrade kits announced today that its current line of Thunderbolt (USB-C) external storage and docks are compatible with Apple's new M1 Macs shipping next week. OWC has the Thunderbolt storage solutions you need to move large amounts of data in seconds or add multiple ports to your laptop with award-winning docks.

Whether you're building your own drive with the OWC Envoy Express, need the rugged protection of the Envoy Pro EX SSD or the peace of mind of having all your data backed up to a ThunderBay RAID, OWC storage solutions harness the speed of Thunderbolt with capacities up to 128 TB. Need more ports? OWC provides the solutions you need to get the job done. On the go and need something that slips into your pocket? The OWC Thunderbolt 3 mini Dock lets you connect up to two 4K displays, two USB-A devices, and Ethernet. Want to build a workstation for your new MacBook Pro? With a single cable, the Thunderbolt 14-port dock lets you connect displays, drives, audio, mics, and headphones - all while charging your laptop.

Samsung Could Become Apple's Newest Chip Supplier

Apple has recently announced its transition to Apple Silicon, meaning that every processor inside its products will be custom designed by the company. However, that seems to be becoming a bit of a problem. The sole supplier of chips for Apple has been Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which Apple collaborated with for the past few years. The sheer capacity of TSMC is enough to satisfy the demand from several companies and thus it allows some of them to book its capacity. With Apple demanding more and more capacity than ever before, it is becoming quite hard to keep up with it. That is why Apple is, according to some analysts for Business Korea, looking for a foundry beyond TSMC's to manufacture its chips.

According to the source, Apple is looking at the direction of Samsung Electronics and its silicon manufacturing facilities. Samsung has recently started the production of its 5 nm silicon manufacturing node. We have reported that the first SoCs are set to arrive soon. However, it may be possible that Apple's M1 lineup of SoCs will be a part of that first wave. Apple is reportedly going to tap both TSMC and Samsung to qualify enough supply for the huge demand of the products based on the latest 5 nm technology.

Apple's M1-Based MacBook Air Benchmarked

When Apple announced that they are going to switch their Mac lineup from Intel-based x86 processors to the custom "Apple Silicon," everyone was wondering how the new processors will look and perform. To everyone's luck, Apple has just a few days ago announced its first Apple Silicon custom processor for MacBook. The M1, as the company calls it, is their first processor designed for higher-power and performance tasks The M1 features eight CPU cores (four high-performance and four-high efficiency) paired with eight cores dedicated to the graphics. On the die, there is also a 16-core neural engine made to accelerate machine learning tasks found in the new applications.

Today, we are getting the first GeekBench 5 CPU benchmarks that showcase just how far Apple has come with its custom design. What we have is the M1 processor found in MacBook Air. This Mac model features a passive cooling system, cooling a CPU with a base frequency of 3.2 GHz. The system scored 1719 points in the single-core result, and 6967 points in the multi-core result. The single-threaded results measure itself with some of the highest-end offerings from Intel and AMD, while the multi-threaded results are very good given the mix and match of small and big cores.

Apple Announces the M1 Processor Powering Next-Gen Macs

Apple today announced M1, the most powerful chip it has ever created and the first chip designed specifically for the Mac. M1 is optimized for Mac systems in which small size and power efficiency are critically important. As a system on a chip (SoC), M1 combines numerous powerful technologies into a single chip, and features a unified memory architecture for dramatically improved performance and efficiency. M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology and is packed with an astounding 16 billion transistors, the most Apple has ever put into a chip.

It features the world's fastest CPU core in low-power silicon, the world's best CPU performance per watt, the world's fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and breakthrough machine learning performance with the Apple Neural Engine. As a result, M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning, all while enabling battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs. With its profound increase in performance and efficiency, M1 delivers the biggest leap ever for the Mac.
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