Apple Develops AI Chips for its Devices

Jensen Watson May 29, 2017
Apple Develops AI Chips for its Devices

Apple, one of the biggest firms in electronic devices, is developing a processor chip dedicated specifically to AI-related tasks. The chip, internally known as the Apple Neural Engine, would help and improve the company’s devices in performing tasks that require human intelligence, such as facial recognition and speech recognition.

Currently, apple devices handle intricate artificial intelligence processes with two dissimilar chips: the main processor and the graphics chip. The new chip would let Apple unload those tasks onto a devoted module created specifically for demanding artificial intelligence processing, letting Apple to improve battery performance.

This is not the first time that Apple has worked in a devoted chip. It consisted a dedicated M-series chip in the iPhone 6S for motion and a chip for AirPods in the iPhone 7.

Apple is planning to integrate the chip in both iPhone and iPad for a more advanced capability and improvements over the time. For instance, Apple has considered offloading facial recognition in the photos application, some parts of the speech recognition, and the iPhone’s predictive keyboard to the chip. Apple also plans to give developer access to the chip so that the third-party applications could also do offloading AI-related tasks. Apple is said to have begun testing future iPhone prototypes with the chip, but it’s not sure yet when the devoted chip would arrive or if it will coincide with the next release of Apple products this year.

"Two of the areas that Apple is betting its future on requiring AI," said Gene Munster, former Apple analyst and co-founder of venture capital firm Loup Ventures. "At the core of augmented reality and self-driving cars is artificial intelligence."

Apple’s engineers have been boosting their offerings to catch their peers at Amazon and Google, who apparently pulled away in the AI market, in the booming field of artificial intelligence. While Siri gave Apple an early improvement in voice recognition, competitors have been more determined to incorporate AI across their product lines, including Amazon’z Echo and Google’s digital assistants. An AI-enabled processor would help Cupertino, California-based Apple integrate more advanced capabilities into devices, particularly cars that drive themselves and gadgets that run augmented reality, the technology that superimposes graphics and other information onto a person's view of the world.

Apple may tackle some of its latest advancements in AI at it’s annual developer’s conference in June. In the said conference, Apple also plans to introduce iOS 11, its new operating system for iPhones and iPads, with an updated user-interface. In addition, the company may discuss about the updated laptops with faster chips from Intel Corp.

Earlier today, Apple opened at $154.00 with a session high of $154.24 and a session low of $153.31. The market capitalization is $803.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.97, and a dividend yield of 1.64%.


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Jensen Watson
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