Macs to be Powered by AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Macs to be Powered by AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says Apple will roll out a new Mac lineup powered by M4 chips in late 2024. The M4 chip will focus on high-performance artificial intelligence capabilities.

Last year, Apple simultaneously introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips in October, so it’s possible we could see the M4 lineup debut during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire Mac lineup will receive the M4 during late 2024 – early 2025.

Gurman says the iMac, the low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro, the high-end 14-inch MacBook Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini will receive the M4 chips first, to be followed by the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models in spring 2025, the Mac Studio in mid-2025, and the Mac Pro later in 2025.

Apple is said to be readying to begin production of the M4 processor, and it is expected to be available in at least three varieties. Chips are codenamed Donan for the low-end, Brava for the mid-tier, and Hidra for the top-end. The Donan chip will power the entry-level MacBook Pro, the ‌MacBook Air‌ machines, and the low-end ‌Mac mini‌, while the Brava chips will be used in the higher-end MacBook Pro and the higher-end ‌Mac mini‌.

The Hidra chip will power the ‌Mac Pro‌, suggesting it is an “Ultra” or “Extreme” tier chip. Apple is testing versions of the Mac Studio‌with an unreleased M3-era chip and a variation of the M4 Brava processor. Apple was just one letter away from making the chip comic book cool (replace the “i” in Hidra with a “y.” Marvel fans will understand).

M4 versions of the Mac desktops are expected to support up to 512GB of Unified Memory, which would be an impressive increase over the current 192GB limit.

The M4 chips will be built on the same 3-nanometer process as the M3 chips, but TSMC will likely use an improved version of the 3nm process for boosts in performance and power efficiency, and Apple will also add a much improved Neural Engine with an increased number of cores to handle AI tasks.