New images of Apple’s latest silicon appear to hint at the possibility of connecting multiple M1 Max chips together to create an extremely powerful multi-chip module (MCM), which would be perfect for a Mac workstation.
As noted (opens in new tab) by YouTuber Vadim Yuryev, the underside of the M1 Max houses a die-to-die interconnect that did not feature in any of Apple’s official marketing material at launch.
In theory, this interconnect bus could allow for two- or even four-chip M1 Max configurations, multiplying the already extremely impressive performance on offer with Apple’s most powerful silicon.
You guys seeing this or am I just crazy? The actual M1 Max die has an entire hidden section on the bottom which was not shown at all in Apple's official renders of the M1 Max die. Just flip another M1 Max and connect it for an M1 Max Duo chip. Then use I/O die for M1 Max Quadra. https://t.co/McWmofJAls pic.twitter.com/JogRwUGvF6December 2, 2021
The ‘M1 Max Quadra’?
In October, Apple unleashed two new high-performance chips: the M1 Pro and M1 Max. The latter system-on-chip (SoC) boasts an incredible 57 billion transistors, a ten-core CPU and 32-core GPU, 400GB/s memory bandwidth and up to 64GB RAM.
Already, video-editing professionals and others whose work requires a high-end mobile workstation are reporting massive performance improvements with the M1 Pro and Max, compared to the previous MacBook Pro generation.
For context, an M1 Max-powered MacBook Pro was recently found to outperform a Mac Pro kitted out with a $6,000 GPU for graphical workloads, while drawing considerably less power.
However, the ability to chain together multiple M1 Max chips (note, the M1 Pro does not feature an interconnect) in a chiplet design could unlock even further performance scaling.
A Mac Pro-bound, four-M1 Max configuration, for example, would offer a whopping 40 CPU cores and 128 GPU cores, theoretically for quadruple the performance. Apple would need to recruit an I/O die or fabric interconnect, however, to make such a design possible.
So far, Apple has remained silent on its plans for the hidden M1 Max interconnect. TechRadar Pro asked the company for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
Via Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab)