Apple looks to be joining the AI CPU race with upcoming M4 chipsets

The Californian tech giant's going all in with AI

Apple silicon on a gradient background

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As more chipset manufacturers go all in with AI, Apple is allegedly joining the race with its yet-to-be-announced M4 chipsets according to credible sources. Things are set to heat up as AMD and Intel are no longer the only processor manufacturers making moves in this space.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is hard at work in research and development towards AI processing with the M4 chips due to slower-than-expected sales of the company’s chipsets to date. Despite only releasing the M3 chips a handful of months ago (inside of MacBooks and iMac desktop computers), the next generation is already nearing production, meaning we could see them roll out towards the end of the year as per the company’s track record.

The report also alleges that the upcoming M4 chipset will also be available in three different versions, meaning likely to be an M4, M4 Pro, and M4 Max to coincide with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Minis, and iMacs. At present, the company’s flagship machines (the Mac Pros) are still running M2 Ultras, but we could see an M4 Ultra emerge further down the line.

The constant is that Apple is essentially having to catch up to AMD and Intel as Team Red and Team Blue have already made headway with dedicated NUPCs baked onto the chip. As Apple is now developing its in-house silicon, this will mean forging a custom-made NUPC that works with the ARM architecture. Should these chipsets emerge inside the refreshed hardware lineup this year, it would mark the quickest turnaround to date.

It remains to be seen exactly how Apple plans to integrate MacOS with AI functionality but it should mean more power efficient and faster performance in tasks which AI can help to bolster for work and creatives. This includes reduced rendering times for content creators, enhanced image editing tools, on-the-fly tweaks with webcam and audio functionality, and more. We’ll be bringing you more on the story as it develops.

Aleksha McLoughlin is Hardware and News Editor for PC Guide and she oversees buying guides, reviews, news, and features on site. She was previously Hardware and Affiliates Editor at VideoGamer.