About Parallels Desktop for Mac with Apple M1 chip

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About Apple M1 Chip

Apple M1 chip is a successor of iPad’s A14Z chip and the first designed specifically for the Mac. It is built on ARM architecture and includes a system on a chip (SoC) that combines numerous powerful technologies into a single silicon, featuring a unified memory architecture for dramatically improved performance and efficiency. 

Virtual machines created on Intel-based Mac computers have x86_64 CPU architecture that is fundamentally different from the ARM architecture.

Software applications are heavily dependent on a computer's CPU architecture: an application that is compiled (created) for one architecture, cannot be easily run on another architecture. 

About Rosetta

Mac applications that are originally created for Intel-based Mac computers work on Mac computers with Apple M1 chip out of the box by utilizing the Rosetta framework - a translation process that allows running Intel x86_64 applications on Apple M1 chip. Rosetta can translate most Intel-based applications but it can't translate the following executables:

So, due to these technical limitations, Rosetta translates applications that work in user space only. Rosetta can translate the Parallels Desktop user interface and web services, but not virtual machines.

About Parallels Desktop for Mac with Apple M1 Chip

To run virtual machines on a Mac with Apple M1 chip, Parallels engineers created a new virtualization engine that uses the Apple M1 chip hardware-assisted virtualization and allows to run ARM-based virtual machines. All of the best Parallels Desktop features were re-engineered for the Apple M1 chip, including:

Note: See the list of supported operating systems in Parallels Desktop on Mac with Apple M1 chip.

To run Windows 10 and its applications on a Mac with Apple M1 Chip, you need to install Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview that can run the majority of Intel-based Windows 10 applications by using a built-in emulator.

Note: For installing Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview in Parallels Desktop see KB 125375.

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