Apple developing its own AI chipset to take on Google and Qualcomm: Bloomberg

By Karthekayan Iyer | Published on 29 May 2017
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Apple is reportedly developing its own AI chipset to offload tasks currently handled by the main processing unit

Apple developing its own AI chipset to take on Google and Qualcomm: Bloomberg

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Apple is reportedly developing its own chipset to power AI-related tasks on future devices. According to Bloomberg, the chip is internally known as the 'Apple Neural Engine' and is aimed at improving the way its devices handle tasks like facial and speech recognition. According to the report, the company is planning to integrate the AI chipset into future iPhones and iPads. The Cupertino-based company is believed to have begun testing prototypes of future iPhones with the chip and it is unclear whether it will make an appearance in this year's iPhone. With its AI chipset, Apple will be able to offload tasks handles by Siri and other AI-related features to this dedicated chipset and offer improved performance and battery life. 

"Apple has considered offloading facial recognition in the photos application, some parts of speech recognition, and the iPhone’s predictive keyboard to the chip. Apple also plans to offer developer access to the chip so third-party apps can also offload artificial intelligence-related tasks," the person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The company is hosting its annual developer conference in California next month. Besides detailing the updates coming to iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS, the company might introduce updated laptops with Intel's Kaby Lake chipsets. Apple is also tipped to introduce the Siri Speaker at the event, which would compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home. With Microsoft and Google focusing on AI and machine learning at its respective developer conferences this year, Apple may also choose to discuss some of its latest advancement in AI and neural networks.

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Karthekayan Iyer

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