A17 Pro’s Neural Engine shows nice performance hike in iOS 18 benchmark test

Apple’s Core ML is the Machine Learning framework used by Apple to help its devices run AI models and machine learning tasks faster and more efficiently. Core ML delivers near real-time results on-device removing the need for a network connection. Because the data never leaves the device, there is a higher degree of privacy which Apple has already cited as a reason for keeping most Apple Intelligence capabilities on-device.
According to “X” subscriber @lafaiel, the update from iOS 17.5.1 to iOS 18 allows the Neural Engine on the A17 Pro application processor (AP) powering the iPhone 15 Pro Max to run up to 25% faster. The Core ML Neural Inference Score on Geekbench rose from 6249 on an iPhone 15 Pro Max running iOS 17.5.1 to 7816 on the same phone powered by iOS 18. The A17 Pro not only has 8GB of RAM compared to the 6GB on the A16 Bionic powering the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, but the newer 3nm AP also has a Neural Engine that can run as many as 35 trillion operations per second compared to the peak 17 trillion operations per second performed by the A16 Bionic’s Neural Engine.
The Neural Engine on the M4 iPad Pro can handle as many as 38 trillion operations per second and according to BGR, that could give us a clue of what to expect for the Neural Engine on the A18 and A18 Pro chipsets that will power the iPhone 15 non-Pro models and the iPhone 15 Pro models respectively. Apple also recently noted that “the Core ML framework also adds a new MLTensor type which provides an efficient, simple and familiar API for expressing operations on multi-dimensional arrays.”

While the Core ML Neural Inference Score shows a nice hike on iOS 18, the increase was based on the software change only and we should see improvements in the A18 and A18 Pro’s neural engines. Apple itself says that the Core ML takes advantage of the CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine on Apple Silicon to maximize performance while reducing the use of memory and the consumption of power.

The iOS 18 developer beta is available with the public beta due next month. The stable, final version of iOS 18 should be released in September around the same time that Apple releases the iPhone 16 series.

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