Apple’s New M4 Chip

Apple just announced the M4, its latest chip, designed to deliver phenomenal performance to the new iPad Pro. Based on second-generation 3-nanometer technology, the system on a chip (SoC) advances the power efficiency of Apple silicon and enables an incredibly thin design for the iPad Pro.

Features include a new display engine to drive the breakthrough iPad Pro Ultra Retina XDR display’s stunning precision, color, and brightness. A new CPU has up to 10 cores, and a 10-core GPU builds on the next-generation GPU architecture introduced in M3, delivering Dynamic Caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading to iPad for the first time. The M4’s fastest Neural Engine is capable of up to 38 trillion operations per second, faster than the neural processing unit of any AI PC today. It also has faster memory bandwidth, next-generation machine learning (ML) accelerators in the CPU, and a high-performance GPU.

Providing a performance leap over the previous iPad Pro with M2, M4 consists of 28 billion transistors. The up-to-10-core CPU consists of up to four performance and six efficiency cores. M4 delivers up to 1.5x faster CPU performance over the powerful M2 in the previous iPad Pro and boosts performance across pro workflows.

Hardware-accelerated ray tracing now enables even more realistic shadows and reflections in games and other graphically rich experiences. Hardware-accelerated mesh shading is also built into the GPU for greater capability and efficiency in geometry processing, enabling more visually complex scenes in games and graphics-intensive apps. Pro rendering performance is now up to 4x faster than on M2.

Apple claims the M4 has the most powerful Neural Engine ever, capable of 38 trillion operations per second, 60x faster than the first Neural Engine in A11 Bionic. Together with next-generation ML accelerators in the CPU, the high-performance GPU, and higher-bandwidth unified memory, the Neural Engine makes M4 an outrageously powerful chip for AI.

The Media Engine of M4 supports popular video codecs, like H.264, HEVC, and ProRes, and brings hardware acceleration for AV1 to iPad for the first time for a more power-efficient playback of high-resolution video experiences from streaming services.

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