Apple’s M4 Power Play: New Chips, New Strategy

Previously, reports indicated that Apple plans to invest heavily in integrating artificial intelligence (AI) across its entire product line, with efforts not limited to software innovation but also including AI hardware acceleration within the entire Mac lineup, potentially releasing the M4 chip in the first quarter of 2025.

According to Wccftech, Apple has prepared four versions of the M4 series chips: M4, M4 Pro, M4 Max, and M4 Ultra. It is reported that Apple has planned three chips for the M4 series. The base model, codenamed Donan, and an upgraded version codenamed Brava, will replace the M4 Pro and M4 Max, while a chip codenamed Hidra will be used for the M4 Ultra.

On October 30 last year, at the second autumn product launch of 2023 themed “Scary Fast,” Apple unveiled the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips, all manufactured using a 3nm process. However, to date, the most powerful M3 Ultra has not yet been released, and rumors suggest Apple is still testing various configurations of the new Mac Studio. Like the M3 series, the initial release of the M4 series may include three chips: M4, M4 Pro, and M4 Max.

Improving AI performance primarily requires enhancements to the neural engine, equipping it with a greater number of cores to boost processing power. The specific CPU and GPU configurations of the M4 series chips remain unclear; however, given the increasing computational demands, including those for AI, these configurations will also need to be appropriately enhanced to better manage heavy workloads. It is claimed that the M4 series chips could support up to 512GB of unified memory.