Apple is reportedly working on a new processor which is devoted to AI-related tasks. The “Apple Neural Engine” was revealed by a person familiar with the project but the firm, as expected, declined to comment on the matter. If real, it will improve future devices when it comes to handling tasks such as facial and speech recognition.
Analysts such as Gene Munster believe that Apple will be moving into augmented reality and self-driving cars, Munster is quoted as saying that the company "is betting its future” on these things; both of which require AI, which makes it all the more likely that the dedicated hardware is being developed.
The person that leaked the information said that the new AI chip is being designed to make significant improvements to Apple’s hardware over time and will arrive on several other devices that the company makes in time, including the iPhone and iPad. If the source is telling the truth, they have already put the chip through its paces on prototypes of future iPhones. It’s unclear if the chip will be ready in the next iPhone iteration, though.
With AI computations moving from the general processor to AI chips, processes should be faster and users could probably expect better battery performance as a result.