A18-series chips to get a "significant" increase in Neural Engine cores for AI in iOS 18

A18-series chips to get a "significant" increase in Neural Engine cores for AI in 1OS 18
With Apple looking to add new generative AI features to Siri, Shortcuts, Messages, Apple Music, and other features in iOS 18, the tech giant plans to upgrade the Neural Engine on the upcoming A18 and M4 chips. A report by the Economic Daily News says that the new chips will see a significant increase in the number of cores used in the Neural Engine which will lead to improved AI and Machine Learning capabilities for the chips.

We should see Apple introduce iOS 18 at WWDC 2024 in June. The A18 series chips will debut with the iPhone 16 series in September. The A18 Bionic will power the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus. The A18 Pro will drive the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Both A18 chips will be manufactured by TSMC using its second-generation 3nm process node (N3E).


While Apple has kept the core count in the Neural Engine at 16 since the A14 Bionic used with the iPhone 12 series, the speed and performance of the Neural Engine has improved over time. The Neural Engine on the A17 Pro chip used with the iPhone 15 Pro series is said by Apple to be twice as fast as the Neural Engine on the A16 Bionic component found in the iPhone 14 Pro series.

The amount of silicon wafers expected to be produced for TSMC's production of 3nm chips for Apple this year is expected to rise 50% over last year which will lock Apple in as the foundry's largest customer. In addition to increasing the amount of wafer production for TSMC to turn into chips, Apple has also been able to secure a large amount of production capacity for advanced packaging production from TSMC.

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Apple has included a Neural Engine on its A-series chips ever since 2017's A11 Bionic which was used on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. That chip featured a dual-core Neural Engine which increased to an octa-core Neural Engine for the A12 and A13 Bionic in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

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