May 29, 2017 05:10 AM EDT
Apple is reportedly developing a dedicated artificial intelligence chip to relieve of tasks like speech recognition and facial recognition on its mobile devices. The AI chip internally known as Apple Neural Engine could help improve battery life and overall performance.
It's unclear right now if the chip would make its way into upcoming iPhone 8 or iPad Pro 2 this year, but Apple has already started testing future iPhone prototypes with the chip. The final goal of this would be to separate the most computationally concentrated tasks from the iPhone's processor and graphics chip, as reported by Bloomberg.
Apple is looking forward to including the said AI chip in both the iPhone 8 and iPad Pro 2. Apple is said to have begun testing future iPhone prototypes with the chip, but currently, it's not clear when the dedicated chip could arrive or if it will be included in the next iPhone release this fall.
Apple has been rumored to boost its artificial intelligence offerings to more violently competing against Google and Amazon, who have seemingly pulled away in the AI market for the time being. The upcoming Apple Neural Engine might be included in future Apple products like self-driving cars or AI-powered glasses, as reported by ZDNet.
Apple could discuss its AI plans during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Its competitor, Google, introduced new AI offerings in May that extend to smartphones, connected speakers, and cars. This isn't the first time Apple has developed a dedicated chip. It included a dedicated M-series chip for motion in the iPhone 6S and a chip for AirPods in the iPhone 7.
Apple maker is typically tight-lipped on any and all developments regarding future products. But CEO Tim Cook has dropped hints in interviews that augmented reality and AI is the two core pillars of Apple's future.
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