Apple to release M4 chips by the end of the year, focusing on AI performance

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Apple to release M4 chips by the end of the year, focusing on AI performance

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is accelerating the development of next-generation M4 chips. These chips are expected to be the basis of new Mac computers by the end of 2024, with the focus on improving the performance of artificial intelligence data processing.

Following the M3 launch in October 2023, Gourmet is proposing a similar October timeline for the M4 series. The launch will be phased in, starting with updates to the iMac, the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro, the higher-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini. This will be followed by updates to the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air in spring 2025, Mac Studio in mid-2025, and finally Mac Pro in late 2025.

Gourmet also reports on the codenames of at least three M4 variants: Donan (low-end), Brava (mid-range), and Hidra (high-end). Donan will be found in entry-level MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models, while Brava will power high-end MacBook Pro and Mac mini configurations. The Hidra chip, likely destined for the Mac Pro, hints at potential “Ultra” or “Extreme” branding upon release.

The Mac M4 desktop computers are expected to support a significant memory upgrade, with up to 512GB of combined memory, compared to the current limit of 192GB. By retaining the 3nm manufacturing process of the M3 chip, Apple’s supplier TSMC can use the enhanced version to improve performance and energy efficiency. In addition, Apple plans to significantly improve the neural engine, probably by increasing the number of cores dedicated to artificial intelligence tasks.

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