9to5Mac reports that Jeff Pu at Haitong International Tech Research plans to update the A18 Pro chip specifically for on-device AI. In addition, Pu writes that Apple is ramping up chip production earlier than usual for the A18 Pro.

Earlier this year, Apple announced plans for AI features, including how it plans to balance on-device and cloud-based solutions.

Despite strong demand for Apple’s A18 chip, A17 Pro volume has remained stable since February, according to Pu’s investor note. With a 6-GPU configuration, the A18 Pro will have a larger die area than the A17 Pro, reflecting a trend towards edge AI computing.

The larger the die area of a chip, the more transistors and specialized components it can accommodate, potentially improving performance. An increased die size, however, can increase the chances of defects and design flaws, which can negatively impact energy efficiency and heat dissipation.

According to the report, Apple may have difficulty balancing these factors as it accelerates A18 Pro production for the iPhone 16 launch in the fall.

Better on-device Gen AI support:

Edge AI computing, on the other hand, refers to artificial intelligence that is processed directly on devices, rather than in the cloud. Several of Apple’s AI features will be run on cloud infrastructure this year (possibly in partnership with Google), while others will run entirely on devices.

There have been other reports suggesting Apple has plans to improve the A18 chip through artificial intelligence. According to a report published last month, the A18 will have a powerful Neural Engine with “more AI computing cores”.

It is rumored that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro will feature the A18 chip. The iPhone 15 runs on the A16 chip, while the iPhone 15 Pro runs on the A17 Pro chip. It seems that only the A18 Pro, which is destined for the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, will feature the AI-focused changes.