In what’s starting to sound like a familiar song from Apple fans and supporters, this latest Apple Event was one of the brand’s biggest ever. We got some impressive Final Cut Pro updates, a Final Cut Camera app, and a new Apple Pencil Pro. However, the biggest news has to be the new Apple iPad Pro and the M4 chip inside it.

On top of it all, less than six months ago Apple unveiled its M3 chips with the M3, the M3 Pro, and M3 Max. We reviewed the M3 chip at the time and found it to be a major step forward for the company and a very helpful tool for video editors looking to utilize its speed and features.

So why is Apple already coming out with a newer, and most likely better, chip? Let’s explore this question by looking a bit deeper into what the M4 chip has to offer not just for filmmakers and video editors today, but for content creators of different types, perhaps, in the future.

The M4 Chip’s Neural Engine

So, one of the big answers to the question above has to do with the M4 housing Apple’s fastest Neural Engine ever. The M4 chip is capable of up to 38 trillion operations per second, which is set to make it faster than any neural processing units in all other AI PCs today.

This new and faster Neural Engine M4 chip is also set to provide faster memory bandwidth, along with some next-generation machine learning (ML) accelerators in the CPU, as well as a high-performance GPU, to make any product using this chip (like the new iPad Pro) to be as powerful as possible for artificial intelligence to use.

\u200bM4 Chip Neural Engine

M4 Chip Neural Engine

The M4 in the iPad Pro

As we covered in our write-up on the new iPad Pro, this M4 chip is set to make this incredibly thin device incredibly fast and efficient. The M4 iPad Pro features an entirely new display engine for better precision, color, and brightness, plus a new CPU that has up to 10 cores.

“The new iPad Pro with M4 is a great example of how building best-in-class custom silicon enables breakthrough products. The power-efficient performance of M4, along with its new display engine, makes the thin design and game-changing display of iPad Pro possible, while fundamental improvements to the CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, and memory system make M4 extremely well suited for the latest applications leveraging AI. Altogether, this new chip makes iPad Pro the most powerful device of its kind.” — Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies.

On top of that the new 10-core GPU will also build on the next-gen GPU architecture that we saw introduced in the M3 which should further bring Dynamic Caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading to iPad for what will be the first time for Apple’s signature tablet brand.

It’s All About AI From Now On

As you’ve probably sussed out from the above, the biggest reason that Apple is releasing a new chip now, as opposed to a year from now, or at least six months later like we assumed, is to be ready for AI. The new blazing-fast Neural Engine in particular has a whole IP block in the chip dedicated to the acceleration of AI workloads.

And, as Apple points out repeatedly in presentations and press releases, more AI features are being added to their products every day. There are AI features in iPadOS with the likes of Live Captions for real-time audio captions, a Visual Look Up tool for identifying objects in videos and photos, and plenty more to come.

We’ll have to wait to see if and when (and to what degree) this new M4 chip is added to more upcoming Apple devices. But as we see Apple undoubtedly roll out newer iMacs and MacBooks, they’re sites are most certainly focused on making them all more AI-capable for more AI-infused features.