You might have heard that Apple will soon launch its new phone processor around September while it unveils the iPhone 12. This new processor will be the Apple’s A14X Bionic processor embedded inside the upgraded and ‘coming soon’ versions of iPad Pro tablet computers. As we all know, Apple manufactures one of the fasted mobile chips; this A14X processor will be no less.
According to the leaked data about average performance gains from the older A-series chips with ‘X’ moniker, the upcoming processor is said to be as powerful as Intel’s Core i9-9880H. The i9 processor is a High-Performance laptop-grade CPU. There are no actual words from the company to support the claimed benchmarks, but it has already set A14 in stone and probably started test production.
While no one can exactly tell what the A14X comes with, we can still make assumptions from informed guesses, rumors, and news. So let’s look into some predicted features and elements of the A14 Series.
The Upgraded 5nm Manufacturing Process
TSMC is continually making advancements in the manufacturing process. Thus, TSMC being Apple’s manufacturing partner, Apple is greatly benefiting from this
The A12 was made on a 7nm process; the A13 was built on an augmented 7nm process. The augmented 7nm node was time efficient and had lower power consumption (when running at the same speeds as 7nm A12 chips). Likewise, now Apple could move to TSMC’s new 5nm chips, probably becoming the first large-scale consumer chip to ship.
Jumping to the 5nm process is a nice advancement. The 5nm node is the full-fledged node after 7nm. TSMC asserts that it can run 15 percent faster at the same power as its 7nm chips, or 30 percent lower power at the same performance level. Plus, the chip can also deliver 80 percent more logic density. The 5nm mode uses extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography extensively throughout the process. So, on the manufacturing process alone, the A14 would be a significantly faster and more power-efficient.
A Big Transistor Budget
Previously Apple chose the N7P node, which does not give the increased transistor density. As a result, the A13 has about 8.5 billion transistors. Similarly, for this year’s A14X, it is rumored that the company will keep the processor around the same size, overall. Around 100 square millimetres would serve good for a high-performance premium mobile processor comprising a lot of components.
So, if whatever we have heard comes out to be correct, with TSMC’s transistor density of the 5nm, we will witness about 15 billion transistors. This number is more than that of all other devices except for high-end desktops, server CPUs, and GPUs.
The number of transistors count helps us denote the space that Apple has to work with. This lets us know whether more cores or bigger cores are needed. It also helps to find out if more cache or other improvements are required. Since 15 billion transistors is a huge number, Apple could squeeze down the total chip area to near about 85 mm2 combining only 12.5 billion transistors.
Incredible CPU Performance
Apple did not make any significant adjustments in its primary CPU architecture in the case of A13. The cores’ types were only slightly different, and the number of cores was the same. So, the Company depended on the time and power efficient performance offered by the 7nm process.
In single-threaded performance, the A13 delivers a 20 percent improvement over the A12. So, we could hope for a score close to 1,600 in A14. Also, we can expect the new processor to be 8 percent faster than the enhanced 7nm A13 process.
Well, this time it is stated that Apple will focus on architectural variation and time-efficiency to improve its multi-threaded performance. The company could also stop adding more cores. And, if things go as predicted, the A14X will give us a score a lot more than 5500.
Exceptional Graphics performance (GPU)
iPhone has always been a gaming device. The App Store features many games since its introduction. Now, there is an Apple Arcade service that has emphasized gaming even more. The fantastic graphics performance gives you a 100 percent realistic experience with detailed and vivid images. It makes the games, work functions, and other multi-media color-corrected, shiny and vibrant. Plus, GPU is also needed for computational tasks in image processing, machine learning, and others.
Thereby, realizing the importance of GPU computation, A14 is expected to come with a GPU 50% faster. Some sources tell that Apple could use a bigger GPU: time-efficient, and with high memory bandwidth to give 50 percent more score than that of A13.
Improved Neural Engine, Video Encoding/Decoding, and Image processing
Besides, CPU and GPU cores, the A-series processors, also contain a Neural Engine to power machine learning tasks in iOS. Moreover, you will also find specialized hardware for specific tasks like video encoding, decoding, and image processing in the A-Series processors.
Well, as assumed, A14X may have more Neural Engine cores than its previous versions. Apple is said to contribute extra attention on this as it is essential for augmented reality, many of Siri’s functions, and photo and video quality. Furthermore, the machine learning process on A14X is expected to be twice as fast as on the A13. Also, A14X could be Apple’s first chip with hardware decoding and encoding of the AV1 video codec.
Certainly, the Company doesn’t disclose detailed information for its image processing engine. However, the ‘push for better camera quality’ will most likely be enhanced with A14X! With all the reliable news, and extrapolated data, it is claimed that the Apple A14X Bionic processors could equal or even outperform Intel Core i9-9880H. The previously leaked data and some extrapolation has been put together to state that the A14X Bionic might be able to compete with Intel’s powerful 9th-gen flagship laptop CPU, the Core i9-9880H. The Core i9 was launched last year specially designed for high-end CPU, and super-premium performance-focused laptops.
According to the rumors, the upcoming A14 Series of SoC that Apple has finished could score more than 7800 in Geekbench 5, almost matching the Intel Core i9 9880H. However, the rumored score could be unbelievable as Apple used Intel Core i9-9880H for its 16-inch MacBook Pro, while A14X is meant for a tablet.
Now, the A14X becomes a customized and iPadOS optimized processor as it comes embedded in the new iPad Pro models. The processor is also anticipated to have unique performance and efficiency numbers. As always the Apple’s A14X Bionic mobility processor has been way powerful, and efficient compared to the most potent and flagship processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon or Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin SoC.
In conclusion, the spectacular, Intel Core i9-9880H, is an 8 Core 16 Thread CPU that’s present in only the most powerful computers. It is the top-notch processor that came with Intel’s CPU a year ago. Its only downside is that the processor needs some substantial cooling solutions to cool down. As a result, this could add bulk to the laptop. But, in the case of the iPad Pro tablets, they do not include active cooling solutions. The tablets depend on passive heat sinks and dissipation techniques.
However, the A-series chips of Apple have managed to be compatible with passive cooling in the past. The company has been able to make powerful chips, where A12X Bionic had scores close to the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s processor. This laptop was using Intel six-core CPU. All in all, the A14 Series of processors will include the A14X Bionic, which will power iPad Pro, and the A14 Bionic for the upcoming iPhone 12. One thing to be noted is that the A14 Bionic won’t be much slower than the A14X!