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Apple has a secret project building powerful next-gen AI chips

Published May 7th, 2024 7:26AM EDT
Apple CEO Tim Cook before WWDC 2023 keynote kicked off
Image: Apple Inc.

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Ahead of all Apple AI announcements at WWDC 2024 in June and the next batch of artificial intelligence-powered chips, The Wall Street Journal reports on Cupertino’s secret project to build powerful AI chips.

According to the publication, Apple has been working on its own chips to run AI software in data center servers, which could give the company the advantage it needs to compete with other players.

The Project ACDC (Apple Chips in Data Center) has been ongoing for many years with the help of TSMC. Still, it’s unclear if or when Apple could unveil these chips.

That said, while this project could give a boost to Apple AI, especially now that the company has plans to unveil products and new software with generative AI capabilities, it seems this idea could have been canceled, just like many other Apple projects, such as its car and an in-house microLED production.

After WSJ published the story, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that Project ACDC existed but was canceled. The journalist wrote on X: “On Apple and AI servers: Apple started a project ~’18 to develop server chips to offload from those used by Google, etc. That project was canceled. I don’t believe Apple would make its own AI server chips because of cost, lack of a differentiator, and on-device nature of its LLM.”

Since Apple doesn’t talk about products it hasn’t launched, at least we can hope the company is focused on bringing quality-of-life improvements thanks to AI.

During the company’s latest earnings calls, CEO 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.”

With the OLED iPad Pro expected to be announced today and artificial intelligence features set to be unveiled during WWDC 2024 next month, we’ll surely discover even more about Apple’s plans in the near future.

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.