iPhone X’s A11 Bionic Neural Engine Chip Demonstrates Apple’s Approach to AI

Artificial intelligence in your hand, not in the cloud!

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Apple’s new iPhone X is the future of the smartphones, with new facial recognition and augmented reality features presented as the credentials to back up this claim. But these features wouldn’t be half as slick without a little bit of hidden futurism tucked away in the phone’s new A11 Bionic chip: Apple’s new “neural engine.”

The neural engine is actually a pair of processing cores dedicated to handling specific machine learning algorithms. These algorithms are what power various advanced features in the iPhone, including Face ID, Animoji, and augmented reality apps.

What’s clear about the neural engine is that it’s typical of Apple’s approach to artificial intelligence. AI has become increasingly central to smartphones, powering everything from the speech recognition to tiny software tweaks. But to date, AI features on mobile devices have been mostly powered by the cloud. This saves your phone’s battery power by not taxing its processor, but it’s less convenient–you need an internet connection for it to work– and less secure, meaning your personal data is sent off to far-away servers.

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The iPhone X has a 6-core processor and its own dedicated GPU, which will allow for machine learning. It has an A11 Bionic neural engine chip with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores are faster than ever.

The dual-core A11 bionic neural engine chip can perform 600 billion operations per second. The biggest thing the chip can do is enable fast face recognition for the Face ID authentication feature for unlocking and making purchases on the iPhone X.

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