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The iPhone 16's chip could get a big AI upgrade for generative AI features

It looks like Apple will up the AI hardware ante with the iPhone 16.

Published onFebruary 15, 2024

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Apple A17 Pro
  • Apple’s A18 and M4 processors will reportedly see a big AI hardware upgrade.
  • This suggests that the iPhone 16 series will be an AI powerhouse.
  • Apple is expected to bring generative AI features to the new iPhones later this year.

Apple has offered a so-called Neural Engine in its iPhone chipsets since 2017, powering AI-related tasks. It seems like this hardware could take a huge leap later this year, according to a new report.

Taiwan’s Economic Daily reports (h/t: Apple Insider) that Apple will “significantly increase the number of built-in AI computing cores” in the A18 chipset and M4 processor. This ostensibly refers to the cores inside Apple’s Neural Engine. Apple’s A18 in particular is expected to power the iPhone 16 series later this year.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Apple indeed beefed up its AI silicon later this year. After all, iOS 18 leaks point to AI-related additions while CEO Tim Cook has also hinted at generative AI features coming later this year.

Do you think the iPhone 16 will offer better AI features than the S24?

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This improved AI horsepower could enable features like prompt-based photo editing, a much-improved Siri, and more. We’ve also seen Android OEMs offering features like generative image editing, audio-erasing tech, text/document summarization, image expansion, and live call translations. So it stands to reason that Apple might grab some of these features too.

Even if Apple didn’t have any huge AI features coming to the iPhone 16 series, it still makes sense for the company to offer these hardware improvements with an eye toward future updates.

We do wonder what the iPhone 16 and its apparently huge AI upgrade means for older iPhones, though. We’re guessing that some of Apple’s AI upgrades won’t be available on older devices as a result. But we’ll just have to wait and see.