Apple introduces M4 chip in the new iPad Pro

Apple has introduced the M4 chip in the new iPad Pro. The M4 chip has allowed Apple to make the iPad Pro extremely thin and give it an Ultra Retina XDR display, all while delivering a big increase in performance.

Built using second-generation 3-nanometer technology, M4 is a system on a chip (SoC) that enables the incredibly thin design of iPad Pro. It also features an entirely new display engine to drive the new Ultra Retina XDR display. A new CPU has up to 10 cores, while the new 10-core GPU builds on the next-generation GPU architecture introduced in M3, and brings Dynamic Caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading to iPad for the first time.

1) tandem OLED support, 2) brightness and color compensation, and 3) 10Hz-120Hz ProMotion support.
A graphic representing the new M4 chip, highlighting its four performance cores and detailing their 1) improved branch prediction, 2) wider decode and execution engines, and 3) next-generation ML accelerators. The graphic also highlights M4’s six efficiency cores, and details their 1) improved branch prediction, 2) deeper execution engine, and 3) next-generation ML accelerators.
A graphic representing the new M4 chip, highlighting its 10-core GPU and detailing its 1) next-generation architecture, 2) Dynamic Caching, 3) mesh shading, and 4) ray tracing.
A graphic representing the new M4 chip, highlighting its Neural Engine and detailing its 1) 16-core design and 2) that it’s faster and more efficient.

M4 is claimed to feature Apple’s fastest Neural Engine ever, capable of up to 38 trillion operations per second, which is faster than the neural processing unit of any AI PC today.

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Combined with faster memory bandwidth, along with next-generation machine learning (ML) accelerators in the CPU, and a high-performance GPU, M4 makes the new iPad Pro a good device for utilizing artificial intelligence.

Ultra Retina XDR

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The Ultra Retina XDR display delivers full-screen brightness and unparalleled precision built on breakthrough tandem OLED technology. The combined light of two OLED panels generates amazing brightness and extreme dynamic range performance.

  • 1000 nitsfull-screen brightness
  • 1600 nitspeak HDR brightness
  • 2,000,000:1contrast ratio
  • True Tonefor comfortable viewing
  • ProMotionadaptive 10-120Hz refresh rate
  • P3 wide color

The color and luminance of each pixel is controlled down to the submillisecond, enabling next‑level XDR performance. The Ultra Retina XDR display is even more responsive to content in motion. The 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio delivers deeper blacks for extreme dynamic range. There is pinpoint brightness in the stars and incredible detail in low light and shadows.

Nano‑texture display glass is a new option that’s perfect for high‑end, color-managed workflows or the most demanding ambient lighting environments. Precisely etched at a nanometer scale, nano‑texture glass maintains image quality and contrast while scattering ambient light for even less glare.

New 10-core CPU

Two new iPad Pro devices are shown from the back in silver and space black.

M4 has a new up-to-10-core CPU consisting of up to four performance cores and now six efficiency cores. The next-generation cores feature improved branch prediction, with wider decode and execution engines for the performance cores, and a deeper execution engine for the efficiency cores.

Logic Pro is shown on the new iPad Pro.

And both types of cores also feature enhanced, next-generation ML accelerators. M4 delivers up to 1.5x faster CPU performance over the powerful M2 in the previous iPad Pro. 

GPU Brings New Capabilities to iPad Pro

Octane is shown on the new iPad Pro.

The new 10-core GPU of M4 builds upon the next-generation graphics architecture of the M3 family of chips. It features Dynamic Caching, an Apple innovation that allocates local memory dynamically in hardware and in real time to dramatically increase the average utilization of the GPU. This significantly increases performance for the most demanding pro apps and games.Pause playback of video: Diablo Immortal Gameplay on iPad ProThe new GPU of M4 will bring hardware-accelerated ray tracing to iPad for the first time, enabling even more realistic shadows and reflections in games like Diablo Immortal, and other graphically rich experiences.Hardware-accelerated ray tracing comes to iPad for the first time, and enables even more realistic shadows and reflections in games and other graphically rich experiences. Hardware-accelerated mesh shading is also built into the GPU, and delivers greater capability and efficiency in geometry processing, enabling more visually complex scenes in games and graphics-intensive apps. Pro rendering performance in apps like Octane gets a huge boost with M4, and is now up to four times faster than on M2. With these improvements to the CPU and GPU, M4 maintains Apple silicon’s industry-leading performance per watt. M4 can deliver the same performance as M2 using just half the power. And compared with the latest PC chip in a thin and light laptop, M4 can deliver the same performance using just a fourth of the power.

The Most Powerful Neural Engine Ever

M4 has a fast Neural Engine. An IP block in the chip dedicated to the acceleration of AI workloads. This is Apple’s most powerful Neural Engine ever, capable of an astounding 38 trillion operations per second, 60x faster than the first Neural Engine in A11 Bionic. With AI features in iPadOS like Live Captions for real-time audio captions, and Visual Look Up, which identifies objects in video and photos, the new iPad Pro allows users to accomplish AI tasks quickly and on device.

iPad Pro with M4 can isolate a subject from its background throughout a 4K video in Final Cut Pro with just a tap, and can automatically create musical notation in real time. And inference workloads can be done efficiently and privately while minimizing the impact on app memory, app responsiveness, and battery life.

Advanced Media Engine for Smooth, Efficient Streaming

The Media Engine of M4 is the most advanced to come to iPad. In addition to supporting the most popular video codecs, like H.264, HEVC, and ProRes, it brings hardware acceleration for AV1 to iPad for the first time. This provides more power-efficient playback of high-resolution video experiences from streaming services.

Price & Availability

The 13″ iPad Pro starts from $1,299 USD.

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