The new chip marks a shift away from Intel Corp technology that has driven the electronic brains of Mac computers for nearly 15 years.
It is a boon for Apple computers, which are overshadowed by the company’s iPhone but still rack up tens of billions of dollars in sales per year. Apple hopes developers now will create families of apps that work on both computers and phones.
Apple executives said the M1 was intended to be efficient as well as fast, to improve battery life, and that Apple’s newest version of its operating system was tuned to the processor.
Apple software chief Craig Federighi said Adobe Inc would bring its Photoshop software to the new M1-based Macs early next year.
In June, Apple said it would begin outfitting Macs with its own chips, building on its decade-long history of designing processors for its iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
Apple's phone chips draw on computing architecture technology from Arm Ltd and manufactured by outside partners such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp or TSMC.
Power efficiency - that is, getting the most computing done per watt of energy consumed - is one of Apple’s key aims.