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Tame Apple Press too moist over Apple’s latest chip

by on08 May 2024

Desperate to believe anything

The Tame Apple Press is getting rather too excited about Jobs’ Mob’s latest M4 processor, which has been put under the bonnet of its new iPad Pro refresh.

The technology press has been feeling very depressed because Apple failed to predict that AI would happen in much the same way that Microsoft missed the Internet. To make up for it, there have been stories that Apple was certain to have much better AI-based chips one of these days.

If you believe Apple’s press release, then it has not only caught up but is now the leader of AI chips (unless you count Qualcomm). However, the press release contains shedloads of fine print that the Tame Apple Press has ignored.

Apple claims the M4 includes "up to" four high-performance CPU cores, six high-efficiency cores, and a 10-core GPU. In other words, it has a high-profile chip that probably will never see the light of day but will be used to provide all the performance PR. Apple has left the way open for much "lower-performance" chips which is probably what will be seen by the rest of the great unwashed who don't check their specs. 

Apple's “high-level performance” estimates say that the M4 has 50 per cent faster CPU performance and four times as much graphics performance. Of course, the first question that the Tame Apple Press should ask is, “Than what?” While it is assumed that Apple is referring to the M3 chip, it could also be comparing itself to the M1 or the average brain power of an Apple hack who does not question anything Apple says.

The press release states that the M4 GPU supports hardware-accelerated ray-tracing, which enables more advanced lighting effects in games and other apps.

Apple bangs on about the M4’s power superiority over the M2 (yes really) as if this was something to do with Apple’s design skills. However this is mostly down to the "second-generation" 3 nm manufacturing process.

Apple says it's beefing up the 16-core Neural Engine (Apple's equivalent of the Neural Processing Unit that companies like Qualcomm, Intel, AMD, and Microsoft have been pushing lately). Apple says the M4 runs up to 38 trillion operations per second (TOPS), ahead of Intel's Meteor Lake platform, but short of the 45 TOPS that Qualcomm is promising with the Snapdragon X Elite and Plus series.

Last modified on 08 May 2024
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