Apple's M4 chip arrives with a big focus on AI

Apple's latest silicon will be available first on the new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pros.


Today at its "Let Loose" event, Apple detailed its new M4 chip featuring a major focus on improved AI and machine learning capabilities.

Built on a new second-gen 3nm process, Apple's M4 chip features four performance and six efficiency cores along with a 10-core GPU. In terms of power, Apple claims the M4's CPU is 50 percent faster compared to the M2 with a GPU that's four times quicker. Memory bandwidth has also been improved with speeds of up to 120GB/s and for the first time for the iPad line, Apple is adding support for dynamic caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing and hardware-accelerated mesh shading. On top of that, Apple says it's maintaining class-leading energy efficiency with the M4 capable of delivering the same performance as the M2 but with half the power.

First available on the new iPad Pros, Apple's M4 chip features a 10-core CPU, a 10-core GPU and an improved 16-core neural engine for greatly improved AI performance.

The M4 also features an upgraded 16-core neural engine that can perform up to 38 trillion operations per second, which is 60x times faster than the company's first NPU in the A11 Bionic. Apple says the M4's neural engine will support and accelerate tasks like real-time Live Captions, subject isolation during videos in Final Cut Pro and automatic musical nation in StaffPad.

Some other capabilities of the M4 chip include AV1 hardware acceleration — which is another first for the iPad line — and reduced memory requirements when performing inference-based workloads.

Apple's M4 chip will be available first on the new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pros, which are available for pre-order today prior to official sales going live on May 15.

Follow all of the news live from Apple's 'Let Loose' event right here.