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Apple's next-generation A18 and M4 chips for future iPhone and Mac models will feature an upgraded Neural Engine with "significantly" more cores, according to a report today from the Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News.

iOS-18-Mock-iPhone-16-Feature-Gray.jpg

An upgraded Neural Engine would improve performance for AI/machine learning tasks. iOS 18 is rumored to have new generative AI features for Siri, Shortcuts, Messages, Apple Music, and more. On an earnings call this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was working on generative AI and would share details "later this year." iOS 18 should be announced at Apple's annual developers conference WWDC in June.

A18 series chips are expected to debut in iPhone 16 models in September. It was previously rumored that some generative AI features could be exclusive to iPhone 16 models, and the upgraded Neural Engine could be a reason why.

Neural Engine history for iPhones:
  • 2-core Neural Engine in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X
  • 8-core Neural Engine in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
  • 8-core Neural Engine in the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 12 models
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 13 models
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 14 models
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 15 models
Apple has still improved the Neural Engine's performance over the years, even when core counts have not changed. For example, Apple says the iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip has up to a 2x faster Neural Engine compared to the one in the iPhone 14 Pro.

As for the Mac, most models with Apple silicon chips are equipped with a 16-core Neural Engine. The only exceptions are the Mac Studio and the Mac Pro, which feature a 32-core Neural Engine when configured with an M1 Ultra or M2 Ultra chip.

The first Macs with an M4 chip would likely be released in late 2024 or early 2025.

Generative AI surged in popularity in 2022 after OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can respond to questions and other prompts. Google, Microsoft, and other companies have also released similar chatbots and tools, including ones that can automatically generate images, respond to voice queries, and more.

Article Link: iPhone 16 Rumored to Feature 'Significantly' Upgraded Neural Engine for iOS 18's Generative AI Features
 
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Mescagnus

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
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985
They need to make AI features that are only available on iPhone 16 to incentivise people to upgrade, even if limiting the functions to the latest model is artificial. Because it's intelligent (for Apple's business). Camera upgrades is not enough anymore.
 

kiranmk2

macrumors 68000
Oct 4, 2008
1,526
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They need to make AI features that are only available on iPhone 16 to incentivise people to upgrade, even if limiting the functions to the latest model is artificial. Because it's intelligent (for Apple's business). Camera upgrades is not enough anymore.
I'm not sure if that would work - too many people have written Siri off so wouldn't really care about an "improved" version and also ChatGPT, Gemini etc are available as apps today.
 

Mescagnus

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
489
985
I'm not sure if that would work - too many people have written Siri off so wouldn't really care about an "improved" version and also ChatGPT, Gemini etc are available as apps today.

Actually I'm not thinking about Siri at all (re: AI). I'm thinking of new generative features for example for photo & video editing and productivity. In my opinion, even AI cannot save Siri.
 
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antiprotest

macrumors 68040
Apr 19, 2010
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It seems like iOS 17 is using none of the 16 neural cores on my phone. If iOS 18 or later will actually use more than 16, Siri will be better than Jarvis. But in reality I expect whatever AI thing Apple does, 2 neural cores will be more than enough. In fact, the regular CPU cores are already more than enough.
 
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swiftapplefan

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2023
215
896
I still don’t believe that they’ll show exclusive features for a device that hasn’t even been announced yet. The iOS 18 Generative Features that’ll get announced at WWDC will be available to all devices that can run iOS 18. Any exclusive features will be announced in September, when the devices that can run those features will be announced. Unless, you know, Apple decides to randomly announce the iPhone 16 lineup at WWDC for some reason.
 
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