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The A18 Pro chip in the iPhone 16 Pro is rumored to improve AI performance while maintaining a 6-core GPU

by Joe Rossignol

The next-generation Apple A18 Pro chip for iPhone 16 Pro models will be larger in size to improve AI performance, according to Jeff Pu, an investment analyst who covers companies in Apple's supply chain.


In a research note published this week with Hong Kong investment firm Haitong International Securities, Pu added that the A18 Chip The Pro will feature a 6-core GPU, which will be similar to the A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro models.

Generative AI

iOS 18 Rumored to include introduces new generative AI capabilities to a range of iPhone features and apps, including Siri, Spotlight, Apple Music, Health, Messages, Numbers, Pages, Keynote, Shortcuts and more. Apple was reportedly considering collaborating with companies like Google, OpenAI and Baidu to at least implement some of these features.

iPhone 16 Pro models are rumored to feature an updated Neural Engine with a “significantly” higher core count, which could result in some of iOS 18's generative AI features becoming exclusive to these models. Pu previously said that the larger die size will be due to the Neural Engine, which can power generative AI functions on the device.

Apple has been using the 16-core Neural Engine since the iPhone 12 series. However, with Over the years, the performance of the Neural Engine has still improved, even though the number of cores has not changed. For example, Apple says the A17 Pro chip has a neural engine that's twice as fast as the A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Pro.

Apple has promised to announce generative AI later this year. iOS 18 will be revealed at Apple's WWDC developer conference in June, so we're only a few months away from hearing more about the company's plans.

6-core GPU

With the A17 Pro chip, iPhone 15 Pro models offer significantly improved graphics capabilities over previous models. Apple said the new 6-core GPU is 20% faster and also more power efficient than the 5-core GPU in the A16 Bionic chip. iPhone 15 Pro models also support hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading for improved graphics rendering, resulting in more realistic graphics in games.

Pu believes Apple will use a 6-core GPU for the A18 Pro chip, so graphics improvements for this year's iPhone 16 Pro models may be more limited.

Bottom Line

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 16 series in September. For more details, read our iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro reviews.

Related review: iPhone 16 ProTag: Jeff Poo [54 comments]

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