Apple developing dedicated AI chip for future devices

Apple is working on a processor dedicated specifically to AI-related tasks, reports Bloomberg. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says the chip is known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, and its goal is to improve the way devices handle facial recognition, speech recondition and other AI-related tasks.

Currently, Apple devices handle complex AI processes with two different chips—the main processor and the GPU. This new chip would let Apple offload those tasks onto a dedicated module designed specifically for complex artificial intelligence processing, resulting in better battery life and performance.

The Apple AI chip is designed to make significant improvements to Apple’s hardware over time, and the company plans to eventually integrate the chip into many of its devices, including the iPhone and iPad, according to the person with knowledge of the matter. Apple has tested prototypes of future iPhones with the chip, the person said, adding that it’s unclear if the component will be ready this year.

It’s no surprise Apple looking to move quickly with this AI chip. Other manufacturers, such as Google and Qualcomm, are already using dedicated AI modules, and artificial intelligence sits at the heart of two major spaces the company is rumored to be interested in: self-driving vehicles and augmented reality.

Source: Bloomberg