iPhone 16 Rumored to Feature a “Significantly” Updated Neural Engine for iOS 18's Generative AI Features

By Joe Rossignol

Apple's next-generation A18 and M4 chips for future iPhone and Mac models will feature an updated Neural Engine with a “significantly” higher core count, according to a report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News.

The updated Neural Engine will improve performance when performing artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks. iOS 18 is rumored to bring new generative AI features for Siri, Shortcuts, Messages, Apple Music, and more. At a press conference this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was working on generative artificial intelligence and would share details “later this year.” iOS 18 is set to be announced at Apple's annual WWDC developer conference in June.

The A18 series chips are expected to debut in iPhone 16 models in September. Previously, there were rumors that some generative AI features might be exclusive to iPhone 16 models, and the reason for this could be the updated Neural Engine.

History of Neural Engine for iPhone:

  • 2-core Neural Engine in iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
  • 8-core Neural Engine in iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
  • 8-core Neural Engine in iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • 16-core Neural Engine on all iPhone 12 models
  • 16-core Neural Engine on 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 over the years Neural Engine performance even if the number of cores has not changed. For example, Apple says the A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro has 2x faster Neural Engine compared to the processor in the iPhone 14 Pro.

When it comes to Macs, most models are equipped with Apple silicon chips. with 16-core neural engine. The only exceptions are the Mac Studio and Mac Pro, which feature a 32-core Neural Engine when configured with an M1 Ultra or M2 Ultra chip.

The first Macs with the M4 chip will likely launch in late 2024 or early 2025.

Generative AI exploded in popularity in 2022 after OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can answer 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.

Related Reviews: iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro, iOS 18[ 137 comments ]

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