New iPad Air rumored to have Apple Silicon M1 processor

iPad Air 4

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The "Peek Performance" Apple event kicks off on Tuesday, and sources suggest that the new iPad Air may be the next in Apple's lineup to transition to the M1 Apple Silicon processor.

While it's impossible to know on March 7 what will be released at the March 8 Apple Event, we've got some pretty good guesses about what may make an appearance. We're anticipating an updated iPhone SE, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and an updated iPad Air.

Based on sources cited by 9to5mac on late Monday, the "iPad Air 5" will be next in line to get Apple's M1 chip. The same chip also powers the current generation of iPad Pro, as well as Apple's first generation of Apple Silicon Macs, such as the 24-inch iMac, and the 2020 MacBook Air.

The upgrade would bring a substantial boost in performance to the iPad Air. The M1 chip is more powerful than the A14 Bionic that powers the iPad Air 4. It would also offer an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, as likely up to 8GB of RAM at the lowest configuration.

The M1 addition to the iPad Air isn't a surprise. Apple uses the iPad Pro platform for launches of new technology like the M1, and ultimately migrates them down the iPad family. The iPad Pro was the first iPad to adopt the slimmer bezels, and it ultimately migrated to the iPad Air and iPad mini.

When Apple launches the updated iPad Pro, the device will likely see a slate of new features, including an updated chip.