Apple to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Chips

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Apple Inc. got off to an early start by introducing its artificial intelligence software called “Siri” in 2011, and now it is planning to bring artificial intelligence to chips as the Cupertino-based company is currently working on a dedicated AI chipset called “Apple Neutral Engine” which, will help with all the AI related works in iPhones.

The tech giant is working on a chip for integration with iPhones that can handle artificial intelligence tasks, such as facial and speech recognition. The chip, known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, would improve the way the company’s devices handle tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence.

Engineers at Apple are catching up with their peers in the growing field of artificial intelligence. Competitors have been more aggressive in deploying AI across their product lines,  including Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home digital assistants since Siri gave Apple an early advantage in voice-recognition.

An AI-enabled processor would probably help Apple integrate its devices with more advanced capabilities, particularly self-driving cars and reality-augmented gadgets, the technology that overlays graphics and other information onto a person’s view of the world. Apple devices currently handle complex artificial intelligence processes with two different chips: the main processor and the graphics chip. The new chip would let Apple get rid of those tasks onto a dedicated module designed specifically for demanding artificial intelligence processing, allowing the tech giant’s battery performance to enhance while bringing significant improvement to its hardware and operating systems.

Apparently, Apple has tested “Apple Neural Engine” in prototype iPhones, and is thinking about offloading core applications including Photos facial recognition, speech recognition and the iOS predictive keyboard to the chip Also, Apple plans to open up third-party developer access to the AI silicon, much like APIs for other key hardware features like Touch ID.

Apple bringing the chip out of testing and development would follow other semiconductor makers that have already introduced dedicated AI chips. Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chip for the smartphones comes with a module to deal with the artificial intelligence tasks. Other companies like Google are also not lagging too far behind. Google introduced the Tensor Processing Unit in 2016, which was used for better search results and also for image recognition. This year in the I/O Conference, Google announced a new version of the TPU chipset which will be available for cloud business. Nvidia Corp. is also selling similar chipsets for its customers.

Apple is expected to discuss some of its latest advancements in AI at its annual developer’s conference in June. At the same conference, Apple plans to introduce iOS 11, its new operating system for iPhones and iPads, with an updated user-interface. The company is also said to discuss updated laptops with faster chips from Intel Corp.

Earlier today, Apple opened at $154.00 with a session high of $154.24 and a session low of $153.31. The stock has a market capitalization of $803.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.97, and a dividend yield of 1.64%.

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