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Apple AI features once again rumored to be powered by in-house servers

Published May 9th, 2024 2:04PM EDT
Siri on the Vision Pro headset. Apple GPT
Image: Apple Inc.

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In just a month, Apple will unveil iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS 15 with some long-rumored AI features. Now, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman corroborates a Wall Street Journal report from a few days ago that Cupertino is using its own chips to power data center servers that will handle at least some of the new AI features coming to Apple devices.

According to the new report, these data centers will use Apple’s highest-end M2 Ultra chips, with some servers taking advantage of the recently announced M4 processors to power AI features.

While some simpler tasks will be handled on-device, such as providing users a summary of their missed notifications or incoming text messages, more complicated features will be handled on the company’s servers. That includes generating images, summarizing news articles, and creating long-form responses in emails.

People familiar with the matter say that, unlike the company’s rivals, Apple’s ACDC project (Apple Chips in Data Centers) can “safeguard user privacy” with the Secure Enclave technology, so even using a server, users’ data won’t be shared with others.

As reported by WSJ, Apple’s ACDC project has been ongoing for many years with the help of TSMC. While Gurman previously said this project had been canceled, he deleted the tweet, and it’s now corroborating with the Wall Street Journal.

He even reminded us what Apple’s CFO, Luca Maestri, said during the company’s latest earning calls to reiterate Apple possibly using its own AI servers: “We have our own data center capacity, and then we use capacity from third parties. It’s a model that has worked well for us historically, and we plan to continue along the same lines going forward.”

Fortunately, it won’t take long until we discover all the details about Apple’s upcoming AI strategy. In the same earnings call, Tim Cook said: “We believe in the transformative power and promise of AI, and we believe we have advantages that will differentiate us in this new era, including Apple’s unique combination of seamless hardware, software, and services integration.”

WWDC 2024 is just around the corner, and BGR will provide all the details as soon as we learn more about them.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.