iPhone 16 Rumored to Feature 'Significantly' Upgraded Neural Engine for iOS 18's Generative AI Features

Apple's next-generation A18 and M4 chips for future iPhone and Mac models will feature an upgraded Neural Engine with "significantly" more cores, according to a report today from the Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News.

iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray
An upgraded Neural Engine would improve performance for AI/machine learning tasks. iOS 18 is rumored to have new generative AI features for Siri, Shortcuts, Messages, Apple Music, and more. On an earnings call this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was working on generative AI and would share details "later this year." iOS 18 should be announced at Apple's annual developers conference WWDC in June.

A18 series chips are expected to debut in iPhone 16 models in September. It was previously rumored that some generative AI features could be exclusive to iPhone 16 models, and the upgraded Neural Engine could be a reason why.

Neural Engine history for iPhones:

  • 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

Apple has still improved the Neural Engine's performance over the years, even when core counts have not changed. For example, Apple says the iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip has up to a 2x faster Neural Engine compared to the one in the iPhone 14 Pro.

As for the Mac, most models with Apple silicon chips are equipped with a 16-core Neural Engine. The only exceptions are the Mac Studio and the Mac Pro, which feature a 32-core Neural Engine when configured with an M1 Ultra or M2 Ultra chip.

The first Macs with an M4 chip would likely be released in late 2024 or early 2025.

Generative AI surged in popularity in 2022 after OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can respond to 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 Roundups: iOS 18, iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

vegetassj4 Avatar
15 weeks ago
We've packed the new iPhone 16 pro with the most neural cores ever. It's the most neurotic iPhone we've ever created.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aidler Avatar
15 weeks ago
I fully expect Apple to put major AI features into iOS 18 and then make most of it only available on the iPhone 16, or probably only on the iPhone 16 Pro... because of... stuff ?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swiftapplefan Avatar
15 weeks ago
I still don’t believe that they’ll show exclusive features for a device that hasn’t even been announced yet. The iOS 18 Generative Features that’ll get announced at WWDC will be available to all devices that can run iOS 18. Any exclusive features will be announced in September, when the devices that can run those features will be announced. Unless, you know, Apple decides to randomly announce the iPhone 16 lineup at WWDC for some reason.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCCL Avatar
15 weeks ago
Sounds like they found a excuse to withhold features from perfectly capable iPhone 14's and 15's (Pro/Max)
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
toobravetosave Avatar
15 weeks ago
just need an apple foldable and we can watch all the fanboys love everything they hated 5 years ago
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Antoniosmalakia Avatar
15 weeks ago
I’ll be mightily pissed off if the rumoured improvements to Siri are limited to new devices.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)