Apple is reportedly working on a dedicated AI chip for artificial intelligence technology, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s report says the chip will allow Apple to delegate artificial intelligence tasks to the new chip, freeing up resources to focus on other elements of the phone. Sources claim the chip is being called the “Apple Neural Engine” internally.
“Apple devices currently handle complex artificial intelligence processes with two different chips: the main processor and the graphics chip,” Bloomberg says in its report. “The new chip would let Apple offload those tasks onto a dedicated module designed specifically for demanding artificial intelligence processing, allowing Apple to improve battery performance.”
Some of the tasks that will of offloaded will be “facial recognition in the photos application, some parts of speech recognition, and the iPhone’s predictive keyboard to the chip,” according to Bloomberg’s source.
Apple plans to eventually bring the AI chip to other products like the iPad. Developers will reportedly have access to the chip.
The report also mentions Apple engineers are shuffling around to catch up to Amazon and Google’s AI initiatives. The Apple Neural Engine chip is the first answer to that. And with rumors of Apple possibly unveiling its own Siri speaker at this year’s WWDC, it’s already planning out other moves as well.
Qualcomm and Google already make chips that do something similar to the Apple Neural Engine. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line of processors include a module that handles AI while Google introduced its own chip, called the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), last year that is being used in its data centers for search results and image-recognition.
Bloomberg also notes that it is not yet certain if the new chip will be completed in time to be included in the next iPhone.
Aside from releasing a killer iPhone this year, Apple is intent to jump into many segments it has been noticeably absent from. Particularly in artificial intelligence, augmented reality and smart home systems.
Well learn more about Apple’s plans during the WWDC keynote on June 5.