Apple Inc. has been developing a homegrown chip to run artificial intelligence tools in data centers, though it’s unclear if the semiconductor will ever be deployed, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

The effort would build on Apple’s previous efforts to make in-house chips, which run in its iPhones, Macs and other devices, according to the Journal, which cited unidentified people familiar with the matter. The server project is code-named ACDC within the company, the newspaper said. 

Apple shares rose as much as 1.2 per cent in late trading on Monday. They had been down 5.6 per cent this year through the close. A representative for the Cupertino, California-based company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple has been playing catch-up with its tech peers in generative AI, the technology underpinning chatbots and other popular new tools. But the company is preparing to unveil a new strategy for artificial intelligence at its Worldwide Developers Conference next month. 

Its approach is expected to focus on new proactive features that can assist users in their daily lives, Bloomberg has reported. Apple also has held talks with potential partners like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and OpenAI to supply generative AI services. 

If Apple goes ahead with its own server processor, it would follow several of the largest tech companies in doing so. Inc.’s AWS, Google, Microsoft Corp. and Meta Platforms Inc. all operate data centres that run on in-house designed semiconductors to some extent. Such efforts have eroded the traditional dominance of Intel Corp.’s components.

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