Apple Reportedly Building M2 Ultra and M4-Powered AI Servers

Apple has started building its own AI servers that use the M2 Ultra chip, Haitong analyst Jeff Pu reports.

Apple Silicon AI Optimized Feature Siri
Pu provided the analysis based on supply chain checks in a new note to investors seen by MacRumors. Foxconn is said to currently be assembling Apple AI servers that contain the ‌M2‌ Ultra, with plans to assemble AI servers powered by the M4 chip in late 2025. Last month, a reputable source on Weibo said that Apple was working on processors for its own AI servers made with TSMC's 3nm process, targeting mass production by the second half of 2025, which may line up with this report about M4-powered AI servers.

Apple's decision to build its own AI server is reflective of the company's ongoing strategy to vertically integrate its supply chain. Apple will likely use its own chips to enhance the performance of its data centers and future AI tools that rely on the cloud.

While Apple is rumored to be prioritizing on-device processing for many of its upcoming AI tools, it is inevitable that some operations will have to occur in the cloud. By the time M4-based servers could be operational in data centers, Apple's new AI strategy should be well underway.

In line with broader industry expectations, Pu also expects Apple to announce on-device AI features at WWDC in June, such as audio recording summarization, photo and video editing, and live translation. While the iPhone 16 lineup will tout a range of AI features, 2025's iPhone 17 models will apparently be more focused AI devices.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
Generic iOS 18 Feature Real Mock

Your iPhone 15 Can Show the Time When It's Out of Battery in iOS 18

Wednesday June 12, 2024 2:57 pm PDT by
The iPhone has had a Power Reserve function that holds back a small amount of battery life to allow features like Find My and NFC unlocking to work even when your device has died, and in iOS 18, Apple seems to be improving the feature further for the iPhone 15 models. As demonstrated on Reddit, when the battery on an iPhone running iOS 18 is exhausted, the phone can continue to show the time ...

Top Rated Comments

CWallace Avatar
6 weeks ago
Makes sense for them to leverage their own hardware, especially if their AI implementation is designed around their neural engine and GPU designs as opposed to "commodity / off-the-shelf" hardware.

And I do not expect Apple to offer these servers at retail, so this is not the "return of the Xserve".
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
257Loner Avatar
6 weeks ago
There is only one reason Apple is making their own AI servers: to avoid paying Nvidia billions of dollars!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think|Different Avatar
6 weeks ago
Cannot wait to see what they do in this space! WWDC is gonna be a good one.

Attachment Image
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gank41 Avatar
6 weeks ago
Would be amazing if Apple started offering a newer version of their Xserve lineup again.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TallGuyGT Avatar
6 weeks ago
If they're using M2 Ultras, I hope that means they're saving the M4 Ultras for a Mac Studio / Pro release at WWDC 24 (and not WWDC 2025).
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkaravou Avatar
6 weeks ago

What's the point of AI servers if apple users have on device AI?
For GPT, they need something called a LLM (Large Language Model). Think of this as a massive snapshot of the internet at a given point in time. Once that snapshot is generated, they can copy it locally to the user. So when you ask it something, it checks the local LLM (on device) and gets you the answer.

So what's the point of the AI server?

1. Generating those models takes a LOT of GPU power for a long period of time. This is what all these companies are paying the big bucks for.

2. Those snapshots get stale quickly, so they need to run a new model every so often. It can cost billions to generate a new model so you don't want to do it too often.

3. As they improved their code, they need to regenerate parts or all of those models.

So does that mean if the snapshot is from Jan 1 I won't get any recent data?

Yes.

To fix that, a lot of the GPTs will leverage the internet to get more up-to-date results. That's slower and the results aren't as good. This part will not be handled on-device obviously.

This is why Apple is trying to strike a deal with Gemini and OpenAI. It's also possible that Apple is looking to handle the fresh data on their own, which would require more servers.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)