Home / Gadgets / Apple announces new 8th generation iPad with A12, iPad Air with 5 nm A14 chip

Apple announces new 8th generation iPad with A12, iPad Air with 5 nm A14 chip

This year’s Apple event in September was relatively unusual, not only because of the pandemic and the purely online nature of the show, but also because there was obviously no new iPhone among the new hardware releases at the time.

However, Apple did not disappoint and was able to present brand new iPads and Apple Watches. Among the new tablets we find the new 8th The generation iPad that improves its computing capabilities with the new A12 chip, and the latest iPad Air that is being completely redesigned, taking over the design queues of the iPad Pro siblings, introducing the new Apple A14 chipset for the first time – the first 5 industrynm processor.

Apple iPad comparison
iPad (2019) iPad (2020)
iPad Air (2019) iPad Air (2020)
SoC Apple A10

2x hurricane
4x Zephyr

Apple A12

2 × Vortex at 2.5 GHz
4 × storm at 1.59 GHz

Apple A14

2 × firestorm
4 × Icestorm

display 10.2 2160 x 1620
10.5 “2224 x 1668

DCI-P3, True Tone

10.9 2360 x 1640

“Liquid Retina”

DCI-P3, True Tone

Dimensions 250 x 174.1
x 7.5 mm

483 g

250 x 174.1
x 7.5 mm

490 g / 495 g

250.6 x 174.1
x 6.1 mm

456 g / 464 g

247.6 x 178.5
x 6.1 mm

458 g / 460 g

NAND 32 / 128GB 64/256 GB 64/256 GB
battery 32.9Wh ? 30.8Wh
Front camera 1.2 MP, F / 2.2 7MP, F / 2.2
backup camera 8 MP, F / 2.4, 1.12 µm 8MP, F / 2.4 12 MP, f / 1.8
Cellular 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 9) UE category 16 LTE (1 Gbit / s) with 4×4 MIMO and LAA
SIM size NanoSIM NanoSIM + eSIM
Wireless 802.11a / b / g / n / ac 2 × 2 MIMO,
802.11a / b / g / n / ac 2 × 2 MIMO,
802.11a / b / g / n / ac /Axe 2×2 MIMO,
Connectivity Apple Lightning
3.5 mm headphone jack
Apple Lightning USB-C
Start the operating system iOS 13.1 iOS 14 iOS 13.1 iOS 14
Starting price (Wi-Fi / cellular)

$ 329 / $ 459 (32G)
$ 429 / $ 559 (128G)

(Wi-Fi / cellular)

$ 329 / $ 459 (32G)

$ 429 / $ 559 (128G)

(Wifi / Cellular)

$ 499 / $ 629 (64G)
$ 649 / $ 779 (256G)

(Wifi / Cellular)

$ 599 / $ 729 (64G)
$ 749 / $ 879 (256G)

Start with today’s most exciting tablet, the new iPad Air:

At the heart of the new tablet is Apple’s latest A14 chip, which is a key component in new-generation devices and is likely to power the next-generation iPhone as well once it is released later this year. The details of Apple’s events this year were a bit confusing as the company compared the new A14 metrics to those of the A12, as the previous generation iPad Air had previously used this. We need to add appropriate context to the numbers in order to extrapolate what that means

On the CPU side, Apple uses large new generation performance cores as well as new, small power-saving cores, but remains in a 2 + 4 configuration. Apple claims a 40% increase in CPU performance here, although the company doesn’t specify exactly what this metric refers to – is it single-threaded performance? Is it multithreaded performance? Is it for the big or the small kernels?

What we do know, however, is that it is the A12 chipset and the A13 had already claimed a 20% increase over this generation. So simple arithmetic dictates that the A14 would be roughly 16% faster than the A13 if Apple’s performance metric measurements were consistent between generations.

On the GPU side, we also see a similar calculation, as Apple claims a 30% increase in performance over the A12 generation thanks to the new 4-core GPU in the A14. If you normalize this compared to the A13, this would only mean a performance increase of 8.3%, which is actually quite poor.

In other areas, Apple has made major leaps in performance, such as the new 16-core neural engine, which now offers up to 11 TOPs that indicate throughput. This is more than double the 5 TOPs of the A12 and 83% more than the estimated 6 TOPs of the A13 Neural Motor.

Apple is promoting a new image signal processor among the SoC’s new features, but otherwise the performance metrics (apart from the neural engine) seem to be on the conservative side, as the new chip has 11.8 billion transistors, a 38% generation increase over that Previous year A13s corresponds to 8.5 billion numbers.

The only explanation and theory I have is that at the maximum performance states of the CPUs and GPUs, Apple may have finally withdrawn its excessive peak power consumption, and therefore peak performance in this generation would not have seen such a big jump, but prefers more sustainable thermal numbers. What speaks against such a theory is that Apple did not mention this feat at all, which is quite unusual as they always made a comment on this aspect of the new designs. We’ll have to see if this indicates the actual products, but just a side effect of the event’s new, streamlined presentation style.

Regardless of the performance and efficiency ratings, Apple can boast of the industry’s first 5nm silicon design. The new A14 manufactured by TSMC thus represents the current state of semiconductor technology, and Apple definitely mentioned this during the presentation.

Back to the iPad Air: The new tablet is a complete redesign for the mid-range device and now adopts the new design language that was introduced with the latest iPad Pro models of the last generations. This means a new, thinner bezel design and the loss of the home button.

The focus is on a new 10.9-inch IPS LCD panel for liquid retina with a resolution of 2360 x 1640. The panel is equipped with all the bells and whistles you would expect from Apple, such as: B. A full lamination manufacturing process to allow better contrast and a “pop-out” feel, True Tone and a display P3 gamut.

We are seeing the introduction of the same 12MP 1.22µm pixel sensor as the latest generation iPad Pro models with a f / 1.8 aperture that is relatively large for a tablet.

Interestingly, due to the removal of the TouchID home button on the tablet, Apple decided to not only rely on facial recognition alone, but to introduce a new fingerprint scanner on the frame of the device. The new capacitive design isn’t all that new in the industry, but it’s the first time Apple has used such a unit in its products.

Another big notable change in the new iPad Air is the fact that it now uses a USB-C connector instead of Lightning. Apple explains here that the new port enables much faster transfer speeds between more devices. It’s a very welcome addition to the new generation, and we still keep our fingers crossed that Apple will make the same choice on the next-generation iPhone.

8th Generation iPad: A12 Brains Upgrade

Also announced today was Apple’s new 8th Generation iPad. The lower-entry tablet largely retains the specifications of its predecessor in terms of form factor, display, cameras and connectivity.

The big improvement for this generation is the switch from the A10 chip to the newer A12 generation. Although it’s not the latest in silicon, the upgrade represents a massive performance boost in this price range. Now even the lowest-performing iPad supports machine learning through the integration of the Neural Engine.

$ 599 + for the iPad Air, $ 329 for the iPad

The new iPad Air will be available from $ 599, which is an increase in the price range compared to its predecessor. Upgrading from 64GB to 256GB of storage costs an additional $ 130, while cellular LTE connectivity over the basic Wi-Fi models costs an additional $ 150. Oddly enough, the iPad Air won’t start being available until October, which is unusual for an Apple launch.

The 8thth The iPad of the generation starts at the same prices as the 7th generationth That translates to $ 329 for the base 32GB Wi-Fi, $ 130 for the 128GB variant, and $ 100 for cellular connectivity. Availability for the new iPad begins on Friday, September 18thth.

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