Apple M1 , ARM?

Is my assumption correct? The new Apple M1 chip is ARM based and from what I’ve read the current chip is crazy fast. That being the case, will we see faster chips in future Pine Book Pros or am I way off base? . PS, I was a Windows user about 15 yearss ago, then went all Mac OS and now I’m de-Appling my life and moving everythong to Linux including my phone.

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The Apple M1 chip will only be seen in Apple hardware. No way it’s going into other offerings, like a Pine64 product.

But it is the same ARM architecture?

It is ARM architecture yes. ARM v8.6 if I recall correctly.

Thanks, it’s been a bit easier than I thought except for the phone. I’m so looking forward to using my Pine Phone 64 as a daily driver but their just no there yet. Currently I use a Nexus 5 running Ubuntu Touch. Now then getting my wife to give up her SpyPhone X, well, that’s another story. :slight_smile:

Well, unless Apple sells its SoC to other companies, which it won’t, no one will ever enjoy M1 outside its own ecosystem.

I’m expecting Qualcomm, AMD and Nvidia (and I heard Samsung joined the party as well) to actually tackle this by providing their own high performance ARM SoC. Historically, Qualcomm should be the closest one as it has been providing at least 3 generations of laptop SoC, sadly designed from their smartphone SoC counterpart, that despite do a hell lot better in battery life (24+ hours on a single charge but always connected to 4G network? Hell yeah), suffers a lot in performance. Their latest 8cx barely matches 8th gen i5 U series.

However, not only now everyone knows what M1 is capable of (thus can be set as a performance target), Qualcomm also has both Apple A and M series original designers in hand. Shouldn’t take long before they catch up, albeit with loose integration disadvantages (that’s actually advantages, modularity and wide compatibility is a lot more precious than a single system lock-in).

All in all, before anyone is actually releasing a product, we can only hope and dream.

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apple does happily let a group of linux hackers reverse engineer the m1 for the use of linux. So should these efforts continue then its just a matter of time before linux is 100% happy on all m1 apple products.

Thankfully yes, for M1 platforms they don’t do any kind of hardware lockdown. Even though technically M1 has T2 features built-in, but somehow they don’t use it for bootloader verification (or maybe they do and this is one of the reverse engineering challenge?).

Pssst. We enabled the M1 platform in our linux-rc build of 5.13-rc1. So whatever is upstreamed, is in our kernel. :wink:
Hopefully. When support in mainline gets there, it will be pretty easy to get Manjaro ARM running on the Apple M1.


One question, with lots of efforts in porting stuff from x86 to m1 arm…. Will this mean a lot of new supported (native) software is also coming to these arm sbc???

As of now, even in Linux, a lot of x86 manjaro software is unavailable for arm64/aarch64….

Probably not.
They port using Rosetta 2, which is Apple/Mac only.

Open Source software will almost always be able to be compiled for ARM SBC’s though.

Pine64 is open to other options than the current Rockchip RK3399. Let’s see what will happen when the RK3588 gets released. But that SoC is no match for the M1.

On the other hand, we still haven’t seen the full potential of the RK3399.
And that will also be a challenge with the M1.
Getting proper access to the GPU/VPU is far more challenging than getting Linux running.

At the moment I still haven’t been able to watch 1080p YouTube videos without performance issues on my Pinebook Pro.
My Samsung Chromebook Plus with the same SoC is capable of playing 4K YouTube videos.

At the moment I’m hoping Samsung will release a new ARM chip with AMD GPU this year.
With a bit of luck that would mean that it won’t be that hard to access the GPU from Linux.

For the long run I’m looking at the Open Source RISC-V CPU.
Who knows what comes out of the license deal with Imagination Technologies for the GPU.
And RISC-V is also working on an Open Source GPU.

M1 is just glorified arm x1 cpu right? I think In future many custom SOc from Microsoft and google will come very close to apples m1 and m2 etc

Nope. Apple Silicon is always custom design, Apple has never licensed ARM Cortex cores, only the ARM instruction set. Their cores are fully self designed. None of the ARM standard cores have 6 wide instruction decoder, for instance. While Apple A has 6 since A7 days or so, and now M1 has 8.

Wow, some great info being shared and I’m learning lots. Thanks for the replies and new questions that came up too.

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