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M4 and A18 Apple Silicon rumored to get more powerful Neural Engines for iOS 18 AI features

iPhone 15 Pro Max has the A17 Pro

A supply chain report suggests Apple's next generation of processors will have more Neural Engine cores for more efficient operation of AI introduced in iOS 18.

It's no secret that Apple is working on new AI features that are due sometime in 2024. Apple CEO Tim Cook said AI news would come "later this year," which most expect is related to iOS 18.

According to a report from Economic Daily News, Apple's M4 and A18 processors will feature more AI computing cores. This seems to be a reference to the Neural Engine Apple uses for accelerated processing of machine learning or "AI" tasks.

The report, machine-translated from Chinese, references that this would mean increased investment in TSMC operations. Apple's orders for 3nm processors are expected to grow by 50% year-over-year.

Apple already makes chips with the 3nm process. Those include the M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max, and A17 Pro. The M3 Ultra is expected later in 2024.

A more powerful Neural Engine is inevitable, though it's been a bit of a black box so far. Apple usually states that its Neural Engine has increased performance thanks to more cores or processes.

Regardless of what it's called, Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence, it has always been a part of iPhone thanks to features like the on-screen keyboard or Siri. However, expectations for iOS 18 are set much higher than a more advanced autocorrect.

This supply chain report is technically a rumor because it can't be confirmed. It does seem likely that Apple will beef up its Neural Engine for upcoming features that are all but confirmed, so we're rating this as "possible."

Apple is expected to announce iOS 18 during WWDC in June. The iPhone 16 with the A18 processor will follow in September, and eventually, the M4 series will be revealed by the end of 2024 or early 2025.