With Apple entering the fight, the AI chip wars have gone nuclear

The artificial intelligence (AI) chip wars have officially kicked into high gear. On Tuesday, Apple (AAPL) unveiled its latest iPad Pro lineup, complete with the company’s all-new M4 chip. The processor, Apple says, features a 50% faster CPU than the prior generation Pro’s M2 chip, as well as a GPU with four times the performance of its predecessor.

But Apple focused most on the M4’s neural engine, the portion of the chip dedicated to running AI applications. According to the company, the neural engine in the M4 is the company’s fastest yet, and it's more powerful than any neural processing unit available on today’s AI PCs.

That might all seem like Apple puffing out its chest at the competition, and it is to a degree. But it also shows we’re entering a new era of PC marketing focused on the promise of generative AI applications running directly on our machines, rather than in the cloud.

Microsoft (MSFT) is already pushing the category of AI PCs along with Intel (INTC), AMD (AMD), Qualcomm (QCOM), and Nvidia (NVDA), and with Apple entering the fray, the battle over which company is the new AI champ has officially begun.

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