Apple Planning Significant Modifications to A18 Pro Chip for On-Device AI

March 25, 2024 – In a recent analyst report from Haitong International Technology Research, Jeff Pu revealed that Apple is planning significant modifications to its A18 Pro chip, specifically tailored for on-device artificial intelligence capabilities. According to Pu, the tech giant is ramping up production of the A18 Pro earlier than usual.

Supply chain checks conducted by our team indicate a growing demand for the Apple A18, while sales of the A17 Pro have stabilized since February. Notably, the upcoming A18 Pro (6 GPU version) is expected to feature a larger chip area compared to its predecessor, potentially reflecting a trend towards edge AI computing.

Increasing the chip’s area typically allows for the integration of more transistors and specialized components. However, this expansion also comes with risks, including a higher likelihood of defects and design flaws, as well as potential impacts on energy efficiency and heat dissipation. As a result, Apple must strike a delicate balance with the A18 Pro before the launch of the iPhone 16 later this year.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg previously reported that Apple plans to take a hybrid approach with its AI functionality this year, relying on cloud infrastructure (possibly in partnership with Google) for certain tasks while keeping others running exclusively on the device.

This isn’t the first report suggesting changes to the A18 chip. A separate report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News indicated that the A18 will feature a “significant increase in the number of built-in AI computing cores,” equipped with a more powerful neural engine.

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