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Report: Apple iPhone Is Soon Going To Have Its Own AI Chip, Apple Neural Engine

Apple iPhone 7
Credit: Maurizio Pesce/Flickr
Apple can tap their back on the existence of Siri as one of their early attempts to put AI in a smartphone. But Cupertino won’t be stopping their AI development just with a cheesy voice assistant.
According to a report by Bloomberg, claiming an unnamed source, Apple is reportedly designing a dedicated AI chip for Apple devices, possibly iPhone and iPad, internally known as Apple Neural Engine.
The prime task of Apple Neural Engine would include freeing the CPU and GPU from handling complex tasks such as facial recognition, speech recognition, the ones based on augmented reality, etc.
The report suggests that the new AI chip would improve the device’s overall battery life by reducing the workload of the CPU. Also, Apple is testing these chips on iPhone prototypes which are under development. However, it would be highly unlikely for these chips to arrive with iPhone 8.
Apple has already deployed separate chips to efficiently handle wireless syncing with AirPods and motion sensing on Apple devices.
The possibility of an AI chip in development isn’t surprising considering Apple’s escalated interest in Artificial Intelligence over the years. In the past, Apple has acquired a couple of AI startups.
The company also became a member of the research group Partnership on AI – initially set up by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and IBM – earlier this year. The research group focuses on the collaborative development of AI and its influence on the society.
Although they aren’t flaunting, there could be some serious AI research going on under their R&D roofs. Well, at the current point in time, putting AI in devices has become more of a need than luxury when companies like Google are even developing AI solutions just to copy/paste stuff on Android phones. In fact, Apple isn’t the first in line but follows the likes of Qualcomm, Google (Tensor Processing Unit), and Nvidia which are already developing dedicated AI chips for their hardware.
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