Apple’s upcoming A18 Pro chip for its iPhone 16 Pro handsets will boast a larger die size for boosted artificial intelligence performance, according to Apple supply chain investment analyst Jeff Pu.

Pu made his comments in a research note with Hong Kong-based investment firm Haitong International Securities this week. Pu added that the A18 Pro chip will retain a 6-core GPU, which is the same number of GPU cores as the A17 Pro chip used in iPhone 15 Pro models.

Apple is also rumored to be working to bring deeper AI integrations to iOS 18’s built-in apps, including Health, Messages, Numbers, Pages, Shortcuts, and other apps.  Apple may also bring AI-powered features to Apple Music and Keynote that would allow users to automatically generate playlists.

On Apple’s February earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Cupertino firm was working on generative AI and would share details “later this year.”

Apple has reportedly discussed partnerships with outside companies, including Google, OpenAI, and Baidu for at least some of these features.

Apple is expected to announce iOS 18 and its new features at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. iOS 18 will likely roll out to the public sometime this September. It is possible that some of the new AI features could be exclusively available on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 16 models, which are expected to boast a significantly upgraded Neural Engine.

A18 series chips are expected to debut in iPhone 16 models in September. We’ve seen rumors indicating that some generative AI features will be limited to the iPhone 16 models. The upgraded Neural Engine could be the reason behind those rumors.

The history of the Neural Engine in iPhones is as follows:

  • 2-core Neural Engine in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X
  • 8-core Neural Engine in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
  • 8-core Neural Engine in the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 12 models
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 13 models
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 14 models
  • 16-core Neural Engine in all iPhone 15 models

Even in the years when Apple did not increase the number of cores in the Neural Engine, it has still improved the performance of the engine.

Pu believes Apple will stick with a 6-core GPU for the A18 Pro chip, so graphics improvements may be more limited for the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro models.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 16 series at a media event to be held in September.

(Via MacRumors)

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