4 big cores that are, according to Apple, "the fastest core in the world", and I actually believe them. I would not be surprised if this CPU core performs better than Zen 3.
4 small cores that are meant for power efficiency. Didn't quite hear what Apple said about performance but I do believe they said the quad core low power cores would offer performance better than the dual core Intel Mac. I am far more skeptical of that claim though, and they might be measuring at some specific power level that is optimal for the M1's small cores but not for whichever Intel CPU they are comparing it against.
At 10 watts of power limit (the MacBook Air limit) the M1 offers twice the performance of Intel's latest CPU.
3 times higher performance per watt compared to Intel at other power budgets.
128 execution units.
2.6 TFLOPs of performance.
82 gigatexels per second
41 gigapixels per second.
Twice the performance per watt at 10 watts power envelop, but we have no idea which chip they are comparing against (probably the Intel chip in the latest Macbook).
"World's fastest integrated graphics".
16-core Neural Engine with 11 trillion operations per second.
It's an SoC, so it as a lot of stuff built in. Basically everything is on a single chip just like in the iPhone and iPads.
It has a "unified memory architecture" which lets all SoC components (CPU, GPU and I presume NPU) access the same memory directly. So no need for the GPU to request resources from the CPU.
16 billion 5nm transistors.
Secure enclave built in.
Very low power video playback.
PCIe 4.0 support
Thunderbolt and USB 4 support.
Very good image processing (probably the same as in the iPhone).
Crypt accelerator (although a lot of CPUs has this these days).
"Always-on processor" which probably refers to some very deep sleep state.
MacOS using M1 processors can directly run iPhone and iPad apps!
MacOS Big Sur has been optimized for the M1.
"iPhone-style instant-on" which to me mean you never really turn the computer off, you just lock it and it goes into sleep. This is really nice.
Safari is 1.9x as responsive on the M1 compared to some other Mac configuration. They don't specify what they are comparing against really.
"Universal apps" is Apple's name for packaging both ARM and x86 compatible apps into one program. So developers only have to release one version of their apps and it will be able to run on both ARM and x86. None of this "which version do you want to download ARM|x86" we have seen on Windows.
Rosetta 2 allows x86-only programs to run on Apple's ARM processor. According to Apple some programs even perform better on Rosetta 2 than on an x86 Mac. But that might just be some handful of apps and because the M1 is faster than the x86 processor. Performance remains to be seen.