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Three Spanish islands give their name to the third generation of Apple’s M1 chips

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Apple continues to bet heavily on its line of M1 processors that debuted last year to great sales success and rave reviews. A year later, the SoC (”System on chip”) M1 can already be found in many of the company’s computers and “tablets”, but it is only the beginning of an ambitious “roadmap” that threatens to put both Intel as amd, as The Information has revealed.

Among the details released, one as nice as it is curious. The code name of the third generation of M1 processors that will arrive in 2023 corresponds to that of three Spanish islands, one for each model of the future line. A) Yes, Palma, Ibiza and Lobos (referring to Isla de Lobos, which is part of the Canary archipelago) are the names by which these SoC’s will be known for the next two years until the commercial launch takes place under the name chosen by the company. Presumably something along the lines of M3.

Beyond the anecdote, what is relevant about Palma, Ibiza and Lobos is that employ a 3nm (nanometer) manufacturing technology, which implies being able to encapsulate a greater number of transistors in the same silicon (“die”) and substantial improvements in energy consumption. As a reference, the current line of M1 processors, which have surprised both for their capacity and autonomy, use a 5nm manufacturing technology.

The second generation that will arrive in 2022 will use an improved version of the same production technology, but the qualitative leap will not occur until Palma, Ibiza and Lobos that will be the first processors to take advantage of TSMC’s new manufacturing technology, before rivals like Intel or AMD.

Apple computers have used Intel processors since 2006, the year in which the company decided to abandon IBM’s PowerPC chips in favor of the leading processor manufacturer on the market. With the M1 chips, Apple has not only changed its architecture (ARM, the same used in mobiles, compared to x64, the usual in computers) and supplier (now Apple designs and TSMC manufactures), but it threatens to become in a serious rival for Intel, AMD and even greater than it already is for Qualcomm and Samsung: the iPhone will also receive processors manufactured at 3nm in 2023.

The first generation of the SoC (System on Chip) M1 has stood out both for its power and for its low consumption and a modular design that allows scaling the number of “cores” in each CPU and GPU, as well as “dies”, the ” tablet ”that contains the processor. The third generation of M1 chips, in its maximum configuration, you can encapsulate 4 “dies” that will add up to 40 CPU “cores” total. The current generation of M1, in its most powerful variant (M1 Max) has 10 CPU “cores”.

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