Apple Reportedly Working on a New AI Chip For Data Centres

Apple has been late in conquering the AI space, but the Cupertino-based company is seemingly stepping up its AI game with a new chip currently under development. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a chip designed to run AI software in data centres.

Apple reportedly working on a new AI chip for data centres

Tech giants have been rushing to dominate the AI conversation, but Apple has been lagging behind most of its competitors. According to Business Insider, Apple shareholders called out the company earlier this year for failing to make a big splash in the AI race. Artificial intelligence is “what most investors are excited about”, shared Brian Mulberry, a portfolio manager at the investment research firm Zacks Investment Management. Apple CEO Tim Cook reassured his financial backers by announcing the company was investing significantly in the area, and his pledge is materialising.

Apple Vision Pro

Codenamed Project ACDC, short for Apple Chips in Data Centre, Apple’s latest AI bid aims to leverage the company’s design expertise to enhance its own server infrastructure. As such, the technology would be in keeping with Apple’s reliance on its in-house semiconductor expertise across its Mac laptops, iPads, and iPhones. Central to the company’s long-awaited AI strategy, the project shall run inference AI models in place of training model vendors, such as those developed by GPU inventor and leader in artificial intelligence computing, Nvidia.

The company began its AI push on Tuesday during an Apple Event showcasing its latest iPad Pros embedded with an all-new M4 processor. This state-of-the-art chip provides the device with a faster central processing unit and updated graphics. But the star of the show was arguably the M4’s AI capabilities. Tim Millet, Apple’s vice president of platform architecture, presented the M4 as capable of running 34 trillion operations per second. He also stressed that the chip’s neural engine was more powerful than that of any AI PC.

Apple highlighted that the M4 would make AI apps run more smoothly than ever, but it remained vague on further AI software updates. Still, the M4 unveiling felt like a substantial foretaste of exciting things to come in the AI realm. Before long, Apple is likely to roll out a batch of generative AI-powered software features across its many devices – lest it shall trail behind its competitors some more.

While it is uncertain when Project ACDC will see the light of day, and if it ever will, Apple is intent on catching up with fellow tech giants. Tim Cook has been weighing in on the AI conversation more and more lately, increasingly mentioning artificial intelligence over the last few months. The company is eyeing the opportunity of buying up smaller AI businesses, while talks have been up with tech pioneers like Google and OpenAI to power Apple’s AI experiences through their language models.

In such a heated AI space, most tech companies have been bringing their A-game to stay on top of the current. OpenAI stunned the world with the hyper-realistic text-to-video tool Sora. Just as recently, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sat down with Bloomberg to discuss the future of AI search extensively. Meanwhile, the Mountain View-based company is working on bringing together its Gemini, Mandiant, and VirusTotal software solutions to release a new cybersecurity product called Threat Intelligence.

Google’s move is part of a larger push for AI in the cybersecurity industry, benefitting both large-scale online players and smaller-sized businesses. Making advanced security operations more available than ever, AI tools are levelling the online playing field for everyone, from data security professionals to e-commerce platforms. Many iGaming sites are also capitalising on the democratisation of AI to beef up their fraud detection process and better protect their users’ privacy.

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Despite its late take-off, Apple is doubling down on artificial intelligence – just like every other major player in tech. And the company shall keep the tech world talking in the coming months, as Tim Cook hinted at additional AI announcements at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference, slated to start on June 10.

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Murat Oktay

Video games have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I have been writing and managing in the game industry for more than 30 years. I've been playing Diablo 2 nonstop since it first came out.

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