Apple is Working on Dedicated AI Chip Known as the 'Apple Neural Engine' [Report]

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.

From the report:
Apple is working on a processor devoted specifically to AI-related tasks, according to a person familiar with the matter. The chip, known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, would improve the way the company’s devices handle tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence -- such as facial recognition and speech recognition, said the person, who requested anonymity discussing a product that hasn’t been made public. Apple declined to comment.
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 futnure iPhones with the chip, the person said, adding that it’s unclear if the componet 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.

There are already features of Apple's operating system that could be offloaded to the chip including facial recognition in photos, speech recognition, and its predictive keyboard. Developers will reportedly be offered access to the chip so that third party applications can also offload AI tasks.

[Bloomberg]

 


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