Apple is reportedly conducting internal tests of a new external display with a dedicated A13 chip and Neural Engine.
This display is apparently being developed under the codename J327, according to 9to5Mac. However, the details about the technical specifications are not known at present.
Going by the report, the new Apple display will have a homegrown SoC (system-on-chip). Currently, it is the A13 Bionic chip — the very same processor used in the iPhone 11 series of smartphones.
The neural engine is sort of like a GPU, but it is instead built to implement neural network and machine learning tasks in a more energy-efficient manner than the main CPU or graphics card.
Embedding an external display such as the Pro Display XDR with an independent SoC could allow the company enter the premium TV market if they wish to. Since Apple’s Thunderbolt Display was discontinued in 2016, word on the street was that they were working on an iteration with a high-resolution panel and an integrated GPU.
This didn’t happen since the uber-expensive 60Hz Pro Display XDR, which Apple launched in 2019, does not feature its own processor. Of course, if not a new TV lineup or a new Pro Display model, Apple may just be developing a somewhat more affordable external monitor.
Even if Apple is thinking of incorporating this tech only into its Mac series, it will be beneficial in terms of battery life and overall performance since having a dedicated SoC for the display will stop it from stealing power from the main CPU when graphic-intensive tasks are being run by the user.
It’s not certain if Apple will release the rumored display this year or not. At any rate, there’s no certainly that this particular model which is being tested will be viable for market launch.