Apple has long been planning to cut its reliance on other companies when it comes to hardware chips for its iPhones. The company is reported to be working on new chips to ditch Intel. But a new report from Bloomberg suggest that Apple is also working on a new hardware chip specifically designed to power AI-based devices, apps and automobiles. The hardware is known as Apple Neural Engine. The source said that Apple’s new chip will minimize the requirement of human intelligence. Apple will use Neural Engine in facial recognition, speech recognition and self-driving cars.
Apple is coming to terms with the hard market reality that the smartphone market has already reached its saturation point. The future belongs to Augmented Reality, IoT, Self-Driving cars. AI is the centerpiece of these technologies. Apple is also investing heavily in these areas. In 206, the company acquired about 6 startups which were working on innovative products in the realm of AI.
The competition is already heating up for Apple. In 2016, Google launched a special hardware chip, Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), to handle complex graphics in the Cloud. NVIDIA and Amazon already have similar products. Apple’s devices currently have two chips, one is designed to perform normal processing while the other one handles AI-based tasks. Apple Neural hardware will help the company fix its battery time problem.
Apple is expected to announce these new devices in Developers conference in June.