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Will the iPhone 8 pack an AI chip capable of boosting battery life?

The iPhone 8 is set to arrive later this year and the rumours have been nothing short of exhaustive this year, with numerous new features tipped.

And while we’ve heard much about the possible removal of the home button, and a new OLED display, we’ve yet to hear all that much about artificial intelligence in relation to Apple’s next handset.

Well, that’s now changed as a report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman claims the iPhone 8 could come with a dedicated AI processor on-board.

Related: What will the next iPhone be called

Citing someone “familiar with the matter,” Gurman claims the chip is known as the Apple Neural Engine, and although there’s obviously been no official word from Apple on the matter, Gurman has a good track record with this stuff.

Exciting though it may be, it could be that the next iPhone misses out on the chip, with the source unable to say for sure that the tech would be ready in time for the iPhone 8.

While Apple has been using AI for some time, mostly using the power of the cloud, the a dedicated processor would mean users could benefit from a more personalised and quicker AI experience.

Just how the chip will work remains unclear, but according to the report, it would be able to manage some of the main processor and graphics chip’s workload.

This sharing between the AI chip and the traditional processors could reportedly result in better overall performance and would even provide a boost to battery life.

Gurman’s source also said the processor would handle such tasks as facial recognition and speech recognition, though specific details are yet to be revealed.

The report goes on to claims that Apple plans to eventually integrate the chip into other devices, and has tested prototypes of iPhones with the chip built in.

At this point, the details and the existence of the chip itself are yet to be confirmed, so use the usual caution in relation to this latest report.

That said, it makes sense for Apple to be doing all it can to keep up with rivals such as Google and Qualcomm, both of which have been making big strides in AI for some time.

Let us know what you think of the latest report in the comments.

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